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Information for Parents and Family Members

Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) values the role that parents and other family members play in supporting a young person on the road to employment. We view you as a partner along the way!

Know that VRS counselors want to include you in the planning process in ways that works best for everyone:

  1. Talk to your counselor about the best way to communicate. Do you prefer email, phone calls, in-person meetings? How often do you want to communicate?
  2. Make sure you feel clear about your role in the process. Ask questions if you are unsure.
  3. VRS staff are willing to meet with you at a mutually agreeable time and location.

Ways to Prepare Your Child for Employment

Employers seek employees who have strong interpersonal communication and responsibility skills. The following are items you can work on with your child at home through chores and other activities:

  • Maintain personal appearance
  • Communicate so others can understand
  • Show personal responsibility, including showing up for work on time
  • Take work direction
  • Have enthusiasm and a good attitude

Parents and family members can also assist the employment process by tapping into their own networks for:

  • Work experience opportunities
  • Job leads
  • Other supports (transportation)

How can school, VRS and Medicaid waiver funds be used together to support my child with employment?

  • Coordinated services among various agencies serving young people with disabilities and their families can improve their ability to achieve their goals. When different agencies and disciplines work together they can expand opportunities that lead to improved outcomes. Working together assures that the person receives supports that can lead to living, working and playing in the most integrated settings possible.
  • The four examples below are just a few of the many "success stories" that show how through collaboration, state and federal funds can be used together in creative ways to help people with disabilities achieve competitive, integrated employment. Minnesota's departments of Education, Employment and Economic Development and Human Services worked together to develop these examples. They act as roadmaps for how to use different agency services to help people achieve their preferred employment outcome. People with disabilities, their families and professionals can use stories like these to stimulate conversations and ideas about employment. As you work with various partners across the state, you can use these examples to help create more coordinated, innovative plans.
  • Employment Support Funding Example

Parent and Family Resources

The VR program receives 81.7 percent of its funding through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. For federal fiscal year 2022, the total amount of grant funds is $53,031,304, which included $8,158,000 in reallotment funds. The required state match for these funds is $14,299,905 (18.3 percent). The state of Minnesota has appropriated $14.3 million to meet the matching requirement.

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