Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Del Valle, R., Leahy, M.H., Sherman, S., Anderson, C.A., Tansey, T. & Schoen, B. (2014). Promising best practices that lead to employment in vocational rehabilitation: Findings from a four-state multiple case study. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 41 99-113.
Title:  Promising best practices that lead to employment in vocational rehabilitation: Findings from a four-state multiple case study
Authors:  Del Valle, R., Leahy, M.H., Sherman, S., Anderson, C.A., Tansey, T. & Schoen, B.
Year:  2014
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Publisher:  IOS Press
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-140708
Research summary:  https://projecte3.com/vr-agency-services-employment/
Full text:  http://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-vocational-rehabili...   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes
Research design:  Qualitative research

Structured abstract:

Background:  Legislation requires the state-federal vocational rehabilitation program to demonstrate effectiveness of services in order to expand programs. State agencies must show effectiveness of services through successful competitive employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. State VR counselors turn to evidence based practices or interventions. However there is a lack of research about specif practices and services. The Rehabilitation Services Administration is calling for researchers to help identify practices.
Purpose:  The purpose of this study was to determine what are the specific best practices that appear to be evidence based and transportable to other state VR agencies.
Setting:  Various state vocational rehabilitation state and field offices in four states: Maryland, Mississippi, Texas and Utah.
Study sample:  A total of 158 vocational rehabilitation professionals participated in the study. This included: four state directors, 25 VR leaders, 56 mid level managers, and 73 VR counselors.
Intervention:  There was no intervention.
Control or comparison condition:  There was no control of comparison condition.
Data collection and analysis:  The primary sources of data were collected through interviews, focus groups, document review and researcher observations. Semi structured hour long interviews with VR directors and or leaders too place. Ninety minute focus groups were also conducted with mid level managers and VR counselors. These were recorded and transcribed. The data was analyzed using a modified Consensual Qualitative Research method. This included: domain identification, core ideas and cross analysis. Then an auditor reviewed the raw data and mad recommendations about the researchers adherence to the original source data.
Findings:  Twenty nine best practices are identified to promote successful employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. These were divided into two categories: promising organizational practices and promising service delivery practices. The culture of the organization appeared to influence the development and use of innovative practices. Best practices swayed from traditional VR counselor roles and used new service methods of service delivery.
Conclusions:  Research and evaluation are needed to identify best practices.