Achieving Employment Goals
How can I partner with my family member’s vocational providers?
With your family member’s written permission you can communicate with Vocational staff/Employment Specialists, even be part of meetings if your family member so wishes.
You have valuable information about what has typically helped your family member to function better, to be inspired and information on how to best communicate. You have much to offer as someone who knows your family member well over a long period of time.
It is a decision made between you and your family member as to when and how you could be involved. If you find that your family member is increasing in confidence and independence, you can ask if s/he wishes to reduce the type or amount of support that you are providing. You can decide together how and when to make the changes. For example, if you have been making calls to the vocational provider, is it time for your family member to take over phone calls? If you have been driving your family member to the subway, is it time for him/her to start walking or carpooling?
Dixon studied the most effective models of providers and families working together. The 15 most important principles of partnership were identified. The fourth of these principles is: “Listen to families’ concerns and involve them as equal partners in the planning and delivery of treatment”. This same principle can apply to vocational service providers as well as treatment providers.