In the Netherlands about 100,000 adolescents aged between 15 and 24 years are occupationally disabled (SCP, 2006). Of the adolescents with a chronic disease or disability, one out of three indicate that they experience problems with employment (NIVEL 2005), especially with finding employment. The employment rate of adolescents (15-24 years old) with physical impairments in the Netherlands is 39%, compared to 59% of the general population aged between 15-25 years. For adolescents with moderate or serious impairments, the employment rates are 26% and 12% respectively.
The intervention 'At work?!' was designed for young adults with physical disabilities entering the labor market, aiming at improving (abilities to achieve) work participation. Key-elements of the one-year intervention were converging rehabilitation and vocational services, and combining a group program with individual assessments and coaching. Its special characteristics are:
- Generic program in which employment is the central theme, not the diagnosis
- Expertise of rehabilitation professionals (occupational therapists, psychologists, social workers) and re-integration professionals (jobcoaches) are combined
- Provided at the right moment ('just in time') for adolescents
- More intensive and specific than regular rehabilitation programs
This intervention, which was developed in Rotterdam, was implemented in this subproject in the Rijnlands Rehabilitation Centre and the Sophia Rehabilitation Centre.