With You supporting people back into work with IPS

16 June 2022

What is Individual Placement and Support (IPS)?

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an employment support approach that was originally developed for people experiencing mental health and addiction issues.

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) offers intensive, individually tailored support to help people to choose and find the right job, with ongoing support for the employer and employee to help ensure the person keeps their job.

IPS aims to help people find paid jobs within just weeks of being referred to the service.

Then it continues to work with both employer and employee to sustain the job placement for as long as possible, or to help the client into a different job.

IPS directly tackles the lack of integration of healthcare and employment services and the disconnection of different specialists by integrating employment specialists into health teams.   

Quarter 1

From 1st April – 7th June 2022 we have had 37 referrals, 14 programme starts, supported 8 IPS participants into employment. 6 from the West + 2 from the Mid. 5 in part time positions, under 16 hours + 3 in full time positions.

In other news …

1 more has been offered a position but is waiting for a start date + 3 attended interviews on 1st June with Cornwall Council for their Sessional ‘Lived Experience’ support worker roles + 1 is due to attend an interview at Truro School on 13th June.


We are a unit of 3 ( 2 x Employment Specialists (Mid & West) + 1 x Senior Employment Specialist).

Recovery Integration

Both Employment Specialists attend the recovery team meetings (West x 2 + Mid x 2 per month) and ensure that IPS is firmly on the agenda. Employment Specialists are offering and attending 3 way meetings with IPS participants and their Recovery Workers / JCP Work Coaches. The Senior Employment Specialist raises the benefits & challenges faced by IPS at the monthly With You managers meetings and also attends the With You National IPS Working Group meeting with IPS Seniors and Directors from Cornwall.

The Senior Employment Specialist continues to interview Recovery Workers to hear how they feel about IPS.

“Great! Good communication, speed in referrals and support to clients. Ease of meeting clients in various locations suited to them. Great rapport with the Truro worker Vicki”

Recovery Worker (Mid)

“IPS gives them a focus and purpose that they might not previously had. It gives them extra support from another worker. IPS worker gives them extra encouragement and confidence”

Recover Worker (Mid)

“I speak to Julie on a regular basis. It’s great working together for the benefit of the client. Clients have been well supported throughout the whole process. I can only say positive things about Julie. She lets me know when HALO notes are done – it keeps us all updated. Seamless – it feels like IPS is very much part of the community teams. Relationship with IPS is positive. It feels live and organic”

Team Leader (West)

Client Perspective

I know that my addiction was stopping me from finding what I wanted in life. I was homeless and had been staying with my Mum, but she lived in a sheltered place and I was putting her at risk of her losing her home. So I was placed into emergency accommodation.

I had been unemployed for years. I remember doing a Level 1 Horticulture course when I was 16, almost 15 years ago, and loved it. But the idea of getting a job felt impossible. Just the thought of having to fill out an application form put me off. How was I supposed to big myself up when I didn’t even feel good about myself? I was too  worried  how  employers  would see me, what they would say if they knew about my past. I didn’t  want to be judged again.

My Recovery Worker chatted to me about IPS and made a referral for me. I remember feeling so nervous when I first met Julie (Employment Specialist). I’ve never been good at meeting people for the first time. But she explained things. She listened to me and didn’t interrupt, which gave me space to work out stuff in my head, without her taking over. She asked me what I wanted to do and I told her that I wanted to work outdoors. It was lovely as she didn’t try to get me to change my mind.

Julie has been the consistent one in the background, checking in and pushing me along towards my goal, even checking in with me when my Dad died. She has helped me to gain so much confidence to actually look at jobs I wanted, even think about a career.

Within 2 months of meeting Julie, she had connected me to a local landscaping business and I was offered a job in something I love, working outdoors. I’m now contracted to work part time and get to do gardening and landscaping, helping people in the community to have lovely green spaces. I love the job! And Julie still supports me, checking in on how I am coping in the job.

IPS – give it a try! I wasn’t sure, but once I started it all got easier.

Lisa, IPS Participant – successfully completed treatment with We Are With You 91 days after starting with IPS.

Embedding client perspective

  1. We have started our first IPS peer led support group (24th May, 7pm), with IPS participants attending. They chatted about overcoming interview nerves, work related stress and how to manage job knock backs.
  2. We will continue to interview at least one IPS participant per month on a one to one basis, to gain an understanding of their experience of IPS in recovery and to help showcase to others the benefits of IPS.

Employer Engagement

We need employers. Our IPS team continues to contact 12 employers per week focusing on the individual needs of each IPS participant. Positive employers have included –

Boconnoc House & Estate, Lostwithiel – Our IPS team met with Claire Fortescue in May 2022. She spoke positively about wanting to work with us and offered a variety of roles, including housekeeping & grounds maintenance. Their vision –

To provide a place of sanctuary and celebration

To run events that are innovative, educational or inspiring to those that visit To always do what is right for the environment and soil

To keep tradition and history alive whilst embracing and leading innovation

To be of benefit to the wider community in the surrounding area and breaking down hierarchy To provide space to explore spiritual, emotional and physical health

To be a financially sustainable business https://www.boconnoc.com/

Carers Breaks – IPS met with the company CEO and he has offered to deliver motivational talks to our participants, sharing a little of his own lived experience and his journey into business. He can offer a variety of care / support roles.

Truro School – chatted with the recruiting team to explore job opportunities. 1 IPS participant has been invited to interview for the position of Groundsman.

Our IPS team met with positive employers at the JCP Truro job fair in May 2022. We connected with –

Timpson’s, Rodda’s, Lounges Cafes – all have been contacted with a follow up email and we plan to meet them all individually to chat about job opportunities.

We desperately need more employers who are prepared to invest in people in recovery. If you can help – please contact: Michelle Woodward, Senior Employment Specialist [email protected]

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