MDRC, in partnership with Abt Associates and MEF Associates, is conducting an evaluation of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) employment services implemented in a substance use disorder (SUD) treatment provider setting. The evaluation is part of a broader study called Building Evidence on Employment Strategies (BEES). BEES is funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation within the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Three sites have been selected for this study: Zepf Center, in Toledo, Ohio, Grand Addiction Recovery Center (Grand ARC, formerly 12&12, Inc.), in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Lutheran Social Services of Illinois/Impact Behavioral Health Partners (LSSI/Impact), in Chicago, Illinois.
Broadly, 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. This study is an opportunity to build upon the strong evidence base about IPS services to explore its effectiveness for patients in an SUD treatment provider setting.
The evaluation is using a randomized controlled trial to understand how access to IPS affects outcomes related to employment and earnings. Individuals who are in SUD outpatient treatment, short-term residential treatment facilities, or recovery housing, who are eligible for and interested in receiving employment services, are assigned at random to a treatment group, who is offered IPS services, or to a control group, who are referred to other services in the community. The goal is to enroll at least 700 individuals in the study. Outcomes will be measured over a 15-month period following random assignment. The main outcomes to be measured are number of quarters employed during the follow-up period, total earnings during the follow-up period, and employment in the last quarter of follow-up.