Increasing the Utilization of Supported Employment ServicesWith the Need for Change Scale


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Abstract

ObjectiveThis study compared consumers' self-reports of felt need for employment with their practitioners' assessments of need to determine whether consumers' decisions to attend supported employment services and their acceptance into supported employment services could be predicted.MethodsIn 2004 a group of 147 unemployed service recipients from a region of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services rated their felt need for employment on the Need for Change (NFC) scale. Correlations between felt need and their decisions to accept supported employment services within the next six months were determined. Correlations between their practitioners' independent decisions to refer them to supported employment services and the consumers' decisions to accept referrals were also determined.ResultsThe consumers' decisions to accept a referral had a correlation of .72 with their NFC ratings, compared with .17 with their practitioners' decision to refer them. Of 49 people with high NFC ratings (high felt need for employment), 45 were accepted into supported employment services. Only ten of these consumers would have been referred by their practitioners. The NFC increased referrals to supported employment by 24 percent in this sample.ConclusionThe NFC scale may be a valid tool for referring consumers to supported employment services.

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