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Home > Methadone maintenance and Special Community Employment schemes: a study of Irish participants' views.

Van Hout, Marie Claire and Bingham, Tim (2012) Methadone maintenance and Special Community Employment schemes: a study of Irish participants' views. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation , 37 , (1) , pp. 63-73.

Specialist vocational training for ex-drug users include employment skills training, supported placements and therapeutic work programmes. The research was peer led by Client Forum representatives of five 'Special Community Employment' schemes and aimed to explore participant experiences of Methadone Stabilization; 'Special Community Employment' schemes, and Vocational Outcomes. A Client Forum consultation (n = 11) and Client Forum representative focus groups (n = 2) were used to finalize interview questions. In depth interviews with a convenience sample of participants from 'Special Community Employment' schemes (n = 25) were conducted. Content and thematic analysis of narratives was undertaken with Client Forum (n = 11) interpretative support.

The findings are indicative of 'Special Community Employment' schemes offering methadone maintenance participants' the opportunity to commence recovery, engage in vocational training and reintegrate into the community. However, participation in these schemes appeared restrictive and operated primarily as therapeutic medium, with little individual vocational care planning, training or supported work placements. Many participants reported leaving these schemes unqualified, unemployed and experiencing little aftercare. The research underscores the need for extensive revision of 'Special Community Employment' schemes within an interagency approach, so as to provide specific therapeutic supports dependent on individual recovery stage, and client specific vocational training needs, certification, work placement and supportive aftercare.

 

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