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8.01 COUNSELING AND GUIDANCE SERVICES

Introduction

Counseling and guidance is provided by the counselor to:

1. promote a successful consumer/counselor partnership throughout the rehabilitation process, and

2. engage the consumer in a decision-making process in the selection, planning and achievement of an employment outcome, where the consumer is responsible for, and makes, decisions about the plan and services leading to employment.

When to Provide

Counseling and guidance is a core vocational rehabilitation service that is provided throughout the consumer's entire experience with NYSCB. Counseling and guidance is provided by NYSCB counselors and is not purchased from other sources. However, other community members (e.g. services providers, family, friends) can play a crucial role in the effectiveness of counseling and guidance by supporting the achievement of vocational goals.

Scope of Service

Counseling and guidance may be provided to:

1. encourage the consumer through establishing a relationship of mutual respect, where the counselor can be both supportive, yet challenging, in promoting the consumer's development of the skills needed to achieve an employment outcome.

2. facilitate informed choice throughout the entire rehabilitation process by providing information about the scope and limits of vocational rehabilitation services, and by helping the consumer obtain specific information on programs, resources and services that can assist him/her in the selection and achievement of vocational goals and an employment outcome. When there are limits on the provision or availability of vocational rehabilitation services, the counselor can assist the consumer in exploring alternatives.

3. gain a comprehensive and individualized understanding of the consumer's abilities, capabilities, interests, strengths, resources, priorities and concerns in order to identify factors that will be critical to vocational achievement.

4. facilitate the consumer's understanding of his/her strengths on which to capitalize in achieving vocational goals and plan with the consumer to find ways to work around any impediments, such as functional limitations related to health, personal, economic (e.g. benefits, work disincentives/incentives) and social issues.

5. assist the consumer in selecting a vocational goal and developing a plan of services toward that goal.

6. involve "significant others" (with the consumer's consent) such as family members, relatives and friends in the community who can: be assets to counseling; support the desired outcomes; and, at times, provide valuable resources.

7. provide follow-along services that are not intrusive but continue to support the achievement of long-term outcomes.

8. enhance self-reliance by teaching the consumer how to get information and tap into supportive workplace and community networks, promoting independence beyond the provision of vocational rehabilitation services.

Therapeutic Counseling Services

If based on the counselor's observations, assessments or training reports, the counselor believes that a consumer can benefit from therapeutic counseling, the counselor should strongly recommend that the consumer seek these counseling services. If the consumer agrees to participate in counseling services, the counselor should arrange for the service and revise the IPE as needed. If the consumer refuses counseling, the counselor should advise the consumer that failure to address issues may impact on the consumer's ability to participate successfully in their vocational rehabilitation program.