Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Unqualified & Unprofessional Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors

In States which have designed Vocational Rehabilitation programs that violate basic tenets and requirements of ADA statutes and the Codes that state requirements flowing from the statutes, and which violate the obligations spelled out in the1997 federal Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Policy Directive, we have fond that Vocational Counselors are hired who cannot meet the specifications outlined in the following job description of a Vocational Counselor.

In one heavily populated and wealthy state, it has been found that Vocational Counselors are incapable of performing (and unwilling to, in some cases to perform) numerous crucial required duties. The duties and areas of necessary knowledge underlined below are examples of areas of incompetency that have been noted in the activities of multiple Vocational Counselors employed both by State and State-contracted private agencies.

Following is a copy of a proper job description posted by a State Vocational Rehabilitation agency:


Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (grades I through III)

Examples Of Duties:

Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Interview individuals referred for vocational rehabilitation services.
  • Evaluate work skills and capacities; assist clients in identifying vocational problems and formulating vocational plans.
  • Analyze information received from referring source, client and case history; develop a vocational diagnosis and rehabilitation plan.
  • Administer or arrange for administration of vocational aptitude and interest tests; interpret tests to clients.
  • Refer clients to Vocational Rehabilitation Workshop, schools, skill training centers, work experience assignments or other training programs.
  • Assist clients in finding work by counseling and teaching job seeking skills.
  • Solicit jobs from local employers; research data on labor market and local demand conditions.
  • Monitor progress of clients through conferences with teachers, supervisors, trainers, etc.
  • Counsel and assist clients with personal adjustments during the rehabilitation process; measure progress and adjust program as needed.
  • Complete periodic summary reports to keep referring sources informed.
  • Train counselors in techniques of rehabilitation counseling.
  • Conduct handling of complex cases; consult on case management.
  • Maintain liaison with other agencies in the field of rehabilitation services; coordinate work and cooperate in programming.
  • Perform Medi-Cal billable documentation consistent with managed care requirements.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.
Examples Of Duties:

Note: The level and scope of the knowledge and skills listed below are related to job duties as defined under Distinguishing Characteristics.

Knowledge of:
  • Principles and objectives of vocational rehabilitation counseling.
  • Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) standards and requirements.
  • Skills, traits and abilities needed in a wide variety of occupations.
  • Private and public programs serving the unemployed.
  • Laws regulating employment and employer-employee relations.
  • Unions and apprenticeship programs.
  • Social service programs and regulations.
  • Standardized vocational aptitude and interest tests.
  • Social and psychological problems of disabled persons.
  • Basics of psychology, sociology and economics in relationship to employment and counseling of the handicapped.
  • Elements of mental illness and approved treatment methods.
  • Basic medical and psychiatric conditions related to the rehabilitation process.
  • Community organizations and resources including agencies involved in job placement, vocational rehabilitation and work training.
  • Employment and labor market trends.
  • Principles and techniques of interviewing.
Skill/Ability to:
  • Interpret laws and regulations.
  • Follow complex policies and administrative procedures.
  • Interview and counsel vocationally handicapped individuals.
  • Plan and direct rehabilitation services programs for clients.
  • Apply principles of rehabilitation counseling.
  • Analyze and interpret medical, social, psychological and educational data to develop an action plan based on that data.
  • Relate to and establish good working relationships with clients from diverse educational, social and cultural backgrounds.
  • Analyze and interpret test and work evaluation data.
  • Motivate clients to undertake and achieve vocational rehabilitation.
  • Write comprehensive reports and maintain records.
  • Train counseling personnel.
[AFSCME: Human Services(A08), San Mateo, California; undated, accessed Jul. 2015]


OBSERVATIONS: (in progress)

Among the most egregious (and very common) failures are:

1) ignorance of economics and the effect of financial decisions on clients’ planning, job selection and preparation for the job.

2) inability to work professionally and sensitively with highly educated clients.

3) Lack of information about, and lack of interest in, local job market or in the broader topic that the term "vocation" actually describes. Most alarming of all is their ignorance of their ignorance, their apathy, and their predilection for avoidance, for hiding information from clients and for covering-up both for themselves and for their colleagues.

4) Absence of any personal or bureaucratic accountability; absence of person-centered service attitude, absence of sense of duty to perform consumer service.

5) lack of awareness of  what the term "transferable skills" means and how such skills need to be matched by the counselor with an array of available vocational options (based on appropriate matches for remuneration, locale, personality, social fit (including cognitive factors such as High IQ or ADD that can be overridden by the correct match).


No comments:

Post a Comment