- Hebrew language studies: for immigrants who may need to fine-tune their communication.
- Professional studies: classes and workshops in subjects relating to the participant’s chosen field, such as developmental psychology, social psychology, gerontology, first aid, and more. These courses help the participant build a solid professional identity.
- Life skills: focused on complex interpersonal communication, decision-making, solving multi-dimensional problems with empathy, self-advocacy, budget management, setting measures for success, handling failure and rejection, dealing with social stigma, etc.
- Instrumental Enrichment: focused on analyzing complex social interactions, gathering information, comparisons, hypothesizing, problem-solving, following and remembering instructions, symbolic thinking, abstract thinking, temporal relations, inferential thinking, and more.
- Pre-Employment: what is the world of work, professional duties, rights, workplace harassment, preparing a resume, preparing for job interviews, what is a payslip, etc.
- During Employment: strengthen concepts from the world of work, guided reading of articles and analysis of the employee’s ability and knowledge, discussing dilemmas from the field and solving them in guided peer discussion.
- Practical Experience: hands-on practicum where the trainees are encouraged to try out different employment roles to discover the most exciting and best suited. Also, an excellent opportunity to refine skills before seeking paid employment.
- Semi-supported work: as the trainee becomes more familiar with their workplace, supervisor, and role, a second day is added to their schedule when they will work unescorted. Educational and work-study days are reduced to three days a week.
- Transitioning to unescorted work: if the transition for the employee continues to go smoothly, extra work days will be added to their schedule, according to their needs and abilities. The ultimate goal is for the trainee to work four days a week at their placement with a bi-monthly visit from their counselor and spend one day at the Feuerstein Institute for continued study and companionship.
The Supported Employment Program is a lengthy process but thorough. It produces success in the workplace, leading to satisfied employers and dedicated, happy employees with increased self-confidence.
Entering the Workforce
- Assessing the trainee: the employment coordinator meets with them to determine their desired field. They also meet with the trainee’s family and counselors (if they live in a group home) to gather information about previous jobs, skills, and abilities.
- Finding a position: the employment coordinator seeks a suitable job for the trainee with an employer who sees having the trainee on board as a necessity, not as charity.
- Supported work: the trainee works one day a week at their placement under the guidance of their counselor for 1-3 months. Educational and work studies are continued the other four days.