Individual Placement and Support (IPS)

An evidence-based, international, supported employment
approach for people with serious mental illness.

Trainer/Curriculum Developer: Deirdre Sage, MSW, LCSW

Individual Focus

IPS focuses on your strengths and preferences — you are the expert in your employment journey.

Work is Recovery

Employment can result in less use of mental health services, fewer hospitalizations, and improved control of symptoms.

Eight Practice Principles

Eight principles set IPS apart from other supported employment approaches and create a person-centered option for job seekers like you.


A 25-item fidelity scale assures service providers adhere to the  IPS program model and helps identify opportunities to improve quality.

A Evidence-Based Employment Approach

Evidence from 24 states and 6 countries continues to point to IPS as a highly effective employment strategy for people with serious mental illness and a promising practice for expansion to other populations. (IPS Employment Center, 2018)

Meeting the Demand

65% of people with serious mental illness want to work and only 15% have access.

Higher Rates of Employment

56% rate of competitive employment compared to 23% in control groups across 27 studies

New Populations

IPS is employing people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and recipients of public assistance.


Number of mental health centers in Colorado offering IPS to job seekers: 12


Number of COEF-trained IPS employment specialists in Colorado: 50

Employment Rate

53% of Colorado IPS job seekers secure employment (IPS Employment Center)

IPS By The Numbers

Because of its effectiveness, IPS expansion is happening throughout Colorado.

Eight Practice Principles

  • Competitive Employment
  • Zero Exclusion
  • Integration of Rehabilitation and Mental Health Services
  • Attention to Worker Preferences
  • Personalized Benefits Counseling
  • Rapid Job Search
  • Systematic Job Development
  • Time-Unlimited and Individualized Support

These eight principles inform the IPS Employment Specialist training through COEF.
Trained Employment Specialists have on-going access to the COEF Learning and Practice Community.

Check Out these IPS Resources!

IPS Social Media Toolkit

The IPS Social Media Toolkit promotes awareness of the Individual Placement and Support model of supported employment.

IPS Tools and Learning

Equipping professionals to provide the highest quality IPS supported employment services.

For more information about IPS, please email

JFK Partner Logo

The Colorado Office of Employment First sits under JFK Partners, the state’s University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, a program of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Its creation was envisioned by Colorado Employment First Advisory Partnership (EFAP), a multi-state agency and stakeholder-led collaborative, and was made possible, in part, by funding from the Colorado Legislature and generously matched through the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE).

© 2023 Colorado Office of Employment First. All Rights Reserved.

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