Dwayne Ross Human Service Training and Staff Development for Agencies that serve the community and improve the Human Condition
Employing At-Risk Populations:
In the last post, I stated you must help them (at risk people groups) Find their Work. What do you mean Dwayne? Here’s what I am saying. When you work with a person who has perceived or very real barriers most of the time the case manager or others, will attempt to Remove the barrier. That’s not a bad idea in and of itself, however it assumes you have the skill level to do so. In the case of a person who may be schizophrenic, how do you remove such a barrier? What if the person is bi-polar? or has some other form of mental incapacity or “Diff-ability… ” What would you do? Where would you begin? I asked those attending one of the workshops to think out of the box. “Out of the Box” but what does it mean? I believe it means to look at solutions that are outside of the norms.
If the norm suggest for you to do what most people would do, then you must strive to do something else! something non-traditional. Not because you want to be a renegade, but because you will want to produce results that have not be obtained before even if all you do is discover another way “Not” to do a particular thing, in this case help this person with the barrier get a particular job. I suggest you find their Work! Jobs are usually based upon what the employer has already created and needs versus finding the person’s work, that is based upon his/her desires, interest and abilities. You are not filling a position, you are creating opportunity. The first steps for anything related to finding the person’s work is based upon discovering his or her truth. Discovering the “inner light” or “uniqueness.” Every human being has been given from the manufacturer a uniqueness.
By tapping into what is unique for the person you can discover his /her work. This is a step that will require asking a variety of questions from everyone around the person, everyone who has a stake in his/her success. If the person has no family, you’ll need to find out who’s their the natural supports? Where do they hang out? who they hang around… What do they do with their time? In some circles this is actually called the “Discovery phase” which has some specific attributes. What type of environment is the person in or coming from? Who’s the most influential person in their life? By asking all of these questions and more, you will begin to see a theme emerge from their life. The “Thematic” approach allows you and the team (which you have assembled from all of the people mentioned) look into what makes the person successful. For instance; If the theme suggest that the person is; Caring… perhaps you can now look deeper into things that would give satisfaction but also meet the need to be Caring. Best practice suggest that you would then brain storm about this area until you and the person has identified at least 15 to 20 areas where the attribute of caring would be the foundation of the work performed. Look at the work, the person brings to the table… are they Creative? Are they a Good Organizer? Are they Musically Inclined? Do they enjoy making a difference?
I shared a story of a young lady Em who had a love for people, serving others… she started a “Coffee Shop.” (click here for more) This young lady had a number of things she could not do, but her team focused on what she enjoyed, what was easy for her, what was natural and what she wanted not what everyone else thought was right for her. They found her Work! Her team created an opportunity for her based upon what they knew about her. It was created in her natural environment and it made sense. Now I know everyone will not own a business and that’s okay. The fact is don’t go looking for a job for someone when you have done the other ten things… you will set them up to fail. Know who they are, know where they want to go, know who they are around, know what they enjoy doing, find out places where their work can be highlighted, take trips to see what people do and involve them in the process, create learning opportunities, set up a vocational profile, get the team on board including the parents, then… develop the job based upon their work.
Now you have discovered their “Fastest path to on-going cash.” They will never need to look for a job again, because they have found their work.