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ROSCOMMON SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICE (Employability, Roscommon) Career Development Plan

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ROSCOMMON SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICE(Employability, Roscommon)Career Development Plan1Introduction and HistoryCatherine Kelleher Employment Facilitator with Roscommon Supported Employment Service.Varied personal career pathworked as Lifeguard and Swimming Instructor Store Detective SecretarySales AssistantCurtain Maker.Owner/Manager Retail Convenience StoreSpecial Needs Assistant Customer Service - Debt CollectionSocial Care Worker Support worker Autism clientEmployment FacilitatorHistory: Employment Facilitator with Roscommon Employability Service for 6 years. varied career path which was dictated more by circumstance than by design.As you can see I had various professions. At the age of 32 I woke up one morning and realised I was not loving my work was not gaining any personal growth or satisfaction from my working life. Returned to education while continuing to work and support my family. I started with a correspondence course in Special NeedsI loved this aspect of study and did very well. As a result of this study I worked with children with Special Needs. I had the opportunity to work in an area where I was excited to get up in the morning and get into work. Never experienced this before and I found it liberating. I decided to pursue further study and did an Honours Degree in adult training I loved the four years of study and I continued working while completing my studies. I learned for me as a human being that my sense of self was enhanced and that I was a more rounded and happier person because I was finally able to work with people who I wanted to be able to help move forward in their own lives.The concept that presented itself to me was that I had many roles in life. I was a daughter, sister, wife and a mother. This was an area that I was happy with within my life and it did provide me with self-confidence and self-esteem. With regard to my working life I was now beginning to feel that what I was doing had some worth to both myself and to the people I was serving. I adapted this concept into my professional practice as I truly believed that a fully rounded approach would lead to success for my clients. If they were in a place within their lives where they were feeling that they had value and worth as human beings then the road that they wished to follow towards gaining meaningful employment for themselves would be easier to pursue.

2Roscommon Supported Employment Service

Our Mission Statement To facilitate access to mainstream employment for people with disabilities in Co. Roscommon by providing supports for career planning, job sourcing, job matching and job retention.

To support employers in Co. Roscommon to achieve best practice in employing people with disabilities


Began attending the Boyle Training Centre in 2009 as an Employment Facilitator.Met with Pauline McNamee. Worked mainly with clients who had Mental Health difficulties. Pauline and I had a shared ethos regarding our mutual clients. We both felt that it was necessary to ensure that all aspects of a clients development be examined to ensure that success was possible towards attaining employment and living their life to the full. Nearly all of our clients were presenting with low self-esteem and low self-confidence. They were stuck within their lives and were having difficulty moving forward. The very fact of their Mental Health difficulties created for them difficulties in social, emotional and practical terms. We decided that we had to do something to help our clients move forward.

THE FINAL STEPWithin my practice within Employability I found that my client base was mainly within the Mental Health sphere. Also most of my clients were based in the Boyle area. I began attending the Boyle Training Centre as an Employment Facilitator and it was there that I met Pauline and started working simultaneously with her to assist our mutual clients.It was a wonderful discovery when I found that Pauline held exactly the same ethos and expectations for our clients that I did. We both agreed that I could look for suitable employment for our clients but that the chance of it being sustainable and rewarding for them would be minimised if the other aspects such as self-esteem and self-confidence were not worked on. Because most of the clients we worked with were dealing with Mental Health Difficulties it was clear to us from meeting with them that they were in fact dealing with low self-esteem and low self-confidence. This presented itself to us as we were meeting with and developing our clients.Both Pauline and I decided that we needed to create added value for our clients to try and encompass all aspects of their development in order for them to succeed. Pauline who is a superb life-coach designed the BU course and the Inspire course in order to tackle head on the rounded approach that was needed to encourage our clients to move forward. Pauline has explained this element of the training. In conjunction with the courses offered by Pauline it was important that once the clients had begun their journey that they needed to be able to have a clear grounding in pursuing


Personal Development? Understanding? Practical help? Pauline produced a programme to help our clients develop all aspects of their lives With this in mind she created the B.U. programme and also the Inspire Programme.

The participants were from the Mental Health services and from the wider community and no-one knew who was from where.

when the clients were ready I developed a module towards accessing employment Solutions?After much discussion in order to smash the barriers that they were presented with both internally and externally. I attended these sessions and took part as a participant. The presentation of these sessions highlighted for me what I already intrinsically knew our clients had huge talent and capabilities they just did not believe it. I delivered this to the clients when they had completed both the BU and the Inspire modules. Because the clients were emotionally and practically ready they were in a better place to look for and take up employment successfully.5

THE FINAL STEPThis image is meaningful in that it shows the true meaning of the concept of helping someone to raise their hand, take the baton and move swiftly on. The person taking the baton is moving on to their final step.6

Career Development Plan - Decisions

In my experience people with Mental Health difficulties have lacked a voice regarding their own circumstances while dealing with bureaucracy, services and professionals. From talking to my clients I often hear them say that they have not been involved in the decision making that surrounds their illness. On this basis I was aware that it would be hard for some of our clients to be able to make decisions about moving forward within their lives. It would also be hard for them to be able to confidently say what their strengths and skills were when creating a template for their future career. On this basis I decided that the group context from the BU and Inspire would be advantageous if it were continued within the Final step. This allowed for peer support. The other participants knew their peers from the previous courses well enough to be able to point out the strengths a participant might have even if they were having difficulty themselves in naming what they were good at. This also had the added benefit of further raising self-esteem and self-confidence within the clients.7Where do I want to live and work?What kind of job appeals to me? What characteristics would I like my co-workers to have?What kind of working conditions would I like?What amount of responsibility would I like in my job?What type of salary am I expecting?In order for the clients to be able to begin making a career plan there were certain questions that they needed to ask themselves. Because we live in a rural area the employment opportunities are not as plentiful as those in an urban environment. Depending on what decisions were up-coming it might be necessary for a client to consider re-location. Also it was important that the client was able to visualise what they wanted from the work environment. What sort of people would they like to be working with? What type of physical environment would they be comfortable in? How did they feel about job responsibility? They did want little responsibility or a lot of responsibility? How would they handle being accountable to their employers? Was this pressure they could handle with regard to their mental health? What amount of money would it take to ensure that their self-esteem was intact?8

Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven't planted David Blya.What do I like doing?b.What am I good at?The fundamental questions in my own opinion of securing and enjoying a fulfilling career rests on doing something that you like and that you are good at doing. On many past occasions with clients I have found that they are talented in a specific area and that because they hold this talent they find that they are good at the area in question. On that basis it was necessary to help the clients be able to identify what it was that they enjoyed and what they were good at. For example some enjoyed music and were good at playing an instrument, others enjoyed cooking and were brilliant at producing luxury goods. These talents if the client so wished were areas that could be developed into a career if needed.9Strengths

What do you do well?What unique resources can you draw on?What do others see as your strengths?Your StrengthsWe all have strengths as human beings. In order to move to the next step of the career plan it is necessary to try to identify the strengths that a client has. Some examples of streng

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