Individual Placement and Support Model for Employment Services


Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an evidence-based model for delivering employment services originally developed for people with serious mental illness and implemented in community mental health settings. It has since gained interest as a strategy to promote employment for a variety of populations with mental health and substance use disorders seeking jobs. Key principles of the model include a focus on rapid job search, competitive employment, client job preferences, small caseloads, benefits counseling, and coordination between employment services staff members and mental health care providers.

MDRC, in partnership with Abt Associates and MEF Associates, is conducting an evaluation of IPS programs as part of the Building Evidence on Employment Strategies (BEES) project. BEES is part of the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE)’s Innovative Strategies for Addressing Employment Barriers Portfolio, which seeks to rigorously evaluate the next generation of employment strategies for people with low incomes, and is partnering with the Social Security Administration (SSA) on select evaluations. Funding from SSA is supporting the expansion of IPS services for the evaluation. The IPS Employment Center, developer of the IPS model, is advising on the delivery of IPS services. Four programs are being evaluated using a random assignment design:

  • Breaking Barriers San Diego
  • Individual Placement and Support in a Federally Qualified Health Center Setting
  • Individual Placement and Support in a Substance Use Disorder Treatment Setting
  • Individual Placement and Support among Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program