Millcreek offers Prevocational services as a part of the Home and Community Based Services Waiver program. This service develops individualized activity plans which include activities that are directed toward the development of employment-related skills in a center-based, non-work environment. Activities provided during Prevocational services are designed to teach habilitative goals rather than job-specific skills. We believe that the best place to learn job-specific skills is by taking part in a job that is within the community; therefore, each individual’s Plan of Care is designed to afford him or her the ability to achieve a quality of life that is similar to that of any other citizen who would like to work in the community. The overall goal of this program is to support the individual so that he or she can participate in work-related activities with as much independence as possible, enhancing each individual’s quality of life.
Millcreek advocates for competitive community employment for all individuals in our Prevocational programs. Due to the fact that 40-hour work weeks of competitive employment are often not feasible for people with significant disabilities, we utilize Prevocational services as an adjunct to Supported Employment. The more competitive employment a person with significant disabilities receives, the less Prevocational services will be utilized. The term “Prevocational” is then true to its original meaning in that people with disabilities are not left in segregated, sheltered workshop environments all of their lives. Instead, they are able to be active, productive, and successful members of their communities.
Personal development is accomplished in Prevocational services through the individuals’ daily choice of activities to participate in, in and out of typical community settings used by individuals who do not have disabilities. Individual outcomes will be set using an ecological system of teaching, which requires personal development to occur in the most natural setting available.
Through the person-centered planning process, outcomes and activities will be selected by the individual and/or his or her legal representative for daily and weekly participation which promote our values to encourage and support:
- Community presence
- Community participation
- Societal contributions
The underlying habilitative goals are those that will allow a person to obtain and sustain a job in a traditional work setting. The habilitative goals of this style of service include motor skill development or the development of adaptive devices or supports to perform tasks that will contribute to an employer’s overall success. This, therefore, allows individuals with disabilities to not be excluded or isolated from work in settings that typically employ people who do not have disabilities.
Millcreek recognizes that traditional sheltered workshop activities are not ideal for effectively securing competitive employment in an inclusive environment utilized by people without disabilities and that these activities can sometimes be detrimental to that outcome. We firmly believe that the severity of one’s disability should not limit access to the community; therefore, all of the services offered aim to promote personal development in domains that lead to full community inclusion. Center-based activities will be provided at the personal choice of each individual.
Accessible transportation is available to shuttle all participants to and from the program sites and to and from community activities throughout the day. There will be a minimum ratio of one staff to every five individuals engaged in the prevocational services on-site, depending on the needs of the individuals.
Millcreek will offer prevocational services at a minimum of 5 days per week, 6 hours per day. Individuals engaging in this program will be offered opportunities for exposure to work in community settings. If the individual initially chooses to decline, staff will continue to offer opportunities for community integration and employment at different intervals while the individual participates in on-site activities. Community integration activities will take place in groups of three or less with at least one assigned staff. Each individual’s desire for community employment will be documented and provisions for supported employment will be available to each individual. Millcreek maintains an open-door policy for people who wish to return to the prevocational program if community employment ends in the future.