Humankind expands successful IPS service

Jack Keery

A worker lifts boxes onto a shelf in a warehouse

Funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and Department of Health and Social Care, and backed by Public Health England, the Humankind STARS (Staffordshire Treatment and Recovery Service) was one of the first areas to deliver IPS (Individual Placement and Support) in community drug and alcohol treatment, from 1st April 2020 – 31st March 2021. Humankind has subsequently been awarded new contracts to deliver IPS in Leeds, South Tyneside and Gateshead, and Cumbria, while continuing our work in Staffordshire.

IPS is a ground-breaking employment programme which provides people with intensive support to find stable employment tailored to their individual needs.

STARS oversaw 87 enrolments into the IPS service during this time, with 55% of those subsequently finding suitable employment, despite the extra challenges faced by jobseekers throughout the pandemic.

While warehouse logistics and customer service/retail positions comprised the majority of those obtained by STARS’s IPS participants over the last financial year, job starts also spanned industries like health and social care, driving, administration/legal, production, trade, and cleaning.

The Staffordshire scheme even secured a stable self-employment route for a participant who needed to fit working hours around their family life after years of being paid in beer and food working in the “grey economy” with no permanent address.

It is hoped that the successful rollout of the IPS scheme within Humankind’s drug and alcohol services in Leeds, South Tyneside and Gateshead, and Cumbria will have a transformative impact on our ability to provide employment support to people who access them, while underlining the need for a multifaceted approach to treatment.

Humankind CEO, Paul Townsley, said:

“The success of STARS’s IPS work embodies Humankind’s mission to help people tackle their drug and alcohol use, not just through treatment, but also by paying attention to the social and economic factors which may hamper their road to recovery.”

Rosanna O’Connor, Director of PHE’s Alcohol, Drugs, Tobacco and Inclusion Health Division, said:

“We’ve seen over the last few years the transformative effect of helping people into jobs that they want to do. This can include financial independence, improved health and wellbeing, and the chance to develop supportive social networks.

“The expansion of Individual Placement and Support will enable more people to access this intensive, skilled but, above all, client-led form of employment support.”

Minister for Welfare Delivery, Will Quince, said:

“We know that drug and alcohol users in existing treatment, along with other disadvantaged groups, can face additional barriers when looking for work.

“The IPS scheme clearly shows people’s prospects of finding work can be improved, which in turn can lead to sustained recovery from drug use.

“We are delighted to be working with Humankind STARS to increase the availability of this highly personalised and intensive employment support in Staffordshire, and across the UK.”

IPS has eight key characteristics that distinguish it from most other forms of employment support:

  1. Paid employment secured in the competitive job market is the goal.
  2. It is open to all those who want to work.
  3. It aims to support people to find work that matches their preferences and interests.
  4. Job search and contact with employers are initiated quickly, within 4 weeks.
  5. IPS is embedded in and integrated with the treatment services.
  6. The IPS specialists engage directly with employers, building relationships to benefit their clients.
  7. It provides individualised unlimited support to the participant and their employer.
  8. Participants are given expert advice around welfare benefits to enable them to make informed decisions about work.

 

A worker lifts boxes onto a shelf in a warehouse

New Young People’s Drug & Alcohol Service for North Yorkshire

David Lupton

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A new service to provide support for young people with drug or alcohol issues is set to be launched across North Yorkshire.

The service, commissioned by North Yorkshire County Council and delivered by national charity Humankind, is aimed at reaching young people aged 18 and under (and 19 – 24 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) who need support around drugs and alcohol.

Damien Frain, Young Peoples and Families Manager at Humankind said: “It’s great news that North Yorkshire County Council has committed to invest in a high quality young people’s support service.

“We look forward to delivering this service to ensure that young people across North Yorkshire have access to help and advice around drugs, alcohol and associated support needs. We will work closely with the adult North Yorkshire Horizons service to ensure seamless links for pathways into treatment when they reach 18 years of age where appropriate.

“We’re committed to helping young people get the right kind of support as and when they need it, and we’re grateful for the support North Yorkshire County Council has shown in backing this new project.”

Angela Hall, Manager for Drug and Alcohol Services at North Yorkshire County Council said: “Humankind is the current provider of Substance Misuse Services for adults, meaning that there will now be a single provider for substance misuse services across the county  for adults and young people. This creates significant opportunities for more enhanced joined up working.”

“Humankind has a strong reputation in successfully delivering support services for children, young people and families, and will bring their experience on this to North Yorkshire. We will work with Humankind and other local services to ensure that young people in North Yorkshire have access to the help and support they need, to help minimise the impact of drug and alcohol misuse on their health and wellbeing and life chances”.

For more information on the new Young People’s Service please email nyyp.admin@humankindcharity.org.uk for details.

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