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Iowa receives federal assistance to expand IPS employment program


The U.S. Department of Labor has selected seven states, including Iowa, to participate in its Advancing State Policy Integration for Recovery and Employment (ASPIRE) initiative, the Iowa Department of Human Services announced. The program aims to align state policy and funding to increase competitive integrated employment for individuals with mental health conditions. The initiative will assist Iowa in expanding its Individual Placement and Support model of supported employment, an evidence-based approach that encourages a “recovery while working” philosophy. In 2020, Iowa received technical assistance from the Office of Disability Employment Policy to craft a funding model for the delivery of IPS services. Now, through ASPIRE, Iowa will add three more IPS teams by 2022. Ongoing expansion is planned so that each of the Human Services Department’s 14 Mental Health and Disability Services regions in Iowa has access to an IPS team. In Iowa, the initiative involves a leadership team of multiple state agency representatives, people who have lived with mental health conditions and their family members, as well as representatives of the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Iowa, and providers of employment services. To learn more about MHDS’ efforts to increase employment for people with disabilities, visit the DHS website.

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