Pre-Conference Institutes

On October 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. CT, conference attendees can join in a pre-conference institute offering a deep dive into a critical topic area that will inform their work to improve and measure the impact of social service delivery on behalf of jobseekers facing barriers to employment. All institute instructors are experts in their topic area.  

Attendees must sign up for a pre-conference institute when registering for the conference . Slots are limited and will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. Read more about the institutes being offered below.   

What Can Social Return on Investment (SROI) Do For You?

Instructor: Amy Terpstra, Director of Research, Social IMPACT Research Center, Heartland Alliance

As social service leaders, we’re routinely fielding questions from funders and policymakers about whether investments into our programs are really worth it—and it’s often difficult to understand and communicate in a holistic way the true impact of the programs and activities we care about. A social return on investment (SROI) expands our understanding of a program’s value beyond traditional financial outcomes by putting social and environmental benefits on the same playing field as financial benefits. This is especially important in the social services sector, where so much of the work does not appear to have an immediate financial outcome—an SROI recognizes social and environmental outcomes as equally important and ascribes them financial value as well. This interactive and hands-on pre-conference institute will introduce leaders from community-based organizations to the ins-and-outs of SROI. By the end of the session, attendees will appreciate the importance of crafting value propositions, understand SROI principles and steps and the important role program data play in SROI, and leave with a rough draft of their program’s SROI framework. 

Creating Opportunity for Homeless Jobseekers: Connecting Income, Employment, and Housing Supports

Chris Warland, Associate Director of Field Building, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity, Heartland Alliance
Carl Wiley, National Center on Employment & Homelessness Coordinator, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity, Heartland Alliance

Employment in quality job is key to preventing and ending homelessness. Although most people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness want to work, many face significant barriers to getting and keeping jobs. Many others are working but not earning enough to make ends meet or keep a stable roof over their heads. Access to employment, earned income, and housing supports are critical to assisting people experiencing homelessness regain their footing and move toward stability and economic security. This pre-conference institute will lift up the importance of earned income as a pathway for individuals and families to exit homelessness, remain housed, and improve overall health and wellbeing. Attendees will come away knowing what the research evidence says about connecting homeless jobseekers to employment and why and how service providers should prioritize access to employment for people experiencing homelessness. Because a key principle of this training is that virtually anyone can if work if they have the right supports, attendees will also gain a deeper understanding of the “employment first” philosophy and the importance of providing access to employment supports at the beginning of service engagement.    

Applying Therapeutic Approaches in an Employment Setting: Motivational Interviewing 101

Instructor: Valery Shuman, Senior Director, Heartland Center for Systems Change, Heartland Health Outreach, Inc.

Motivational Interviewing is a client-centered method utilized to enhance motivation for change and resolve ambivalence. This introductory training will explore how motivational interviewing strategies can be used to guide engagement and relationship building in the context of employment case management. Training participants will learn how motivational interviewing can be used to engage consumers in employment services and assess readiness, willingness, and ability for change. Attendees are asked to bring case examples for the group to utilize for practice of motivational interviewing skills.

Transforming Impossible into Possible (TIP): Psychological Self-Sufficiency and Employment Success

Instructor: Dr. Philip Hong, Professor, School of Social Work, Loyola University Chicago

Dr. Hong developed the Transforming Impossible into Possible (TIP) program to help low-income jobseekers transition from long-term unemployment to employment through the development of Psychological Self-Sufficiency. This session will provide an introduction to TIP, an evidence-informed group intervention model in workforce development that empowers participants to develop self-awareness, confidence, hope, goal-orientation, leadership, accountability, conscientiousness, and grit in order to improve both employment and retention outcomes. At the core of these skills is the social and emotional well-being which is crucial to an individual’s success finding a job and personal advancement in the workplace. The session will address how the TIP program can be best implemented for positive employment process and outcomes, how TIP can be evaluated with sound measures, and how the program can be replicated in other settings for greater impact.