Dreamcatchers Empowerment Network
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Organization Details

Programs

Description
The goal of Dreamcatchers is to support and nurture people with disabilities who are seeking employment services through our on-going vocational services-- Empowering through Employment. Our role focuses on vocational-related services as we help clients attain independence through successful employment. The philosophy at Dreamcatchers is a client-centered approach to providing services with respect and dignity. We believe that when an individual achieves meaningful employment, the community benefits from the exposure and contributions of individuals who are frequently marginalized and dismissed. People with disabilities have the desire to overcome their particular disability and become productive members of their community.

Many of our clients have never worked before or have a high level of anxiety about returning to work. Often our work includes helping clients obtain Social Security cards, teaching them how to take public transportation, and educating them about the importance of attendance, punctuality, appearance, and attitude. We work with clients on their verbal, writing, and multi-tasking skills, and how to interact with supervisors and co-workers. Many have never interviewed for a job so we help them prepare resumes, role play interviews, teach them how to job search and submit applications, and then how to maintain employment.

Dreamcatchers fights the stigma and reduces the barriers to employment that many people with disabilities and limitations face in seeking employment. We educate businesses in our communities about the employment strengths and skills of our clients and explain hiring incentives such as tax credits and On-The-Job-Training funds. We have found that prospective employers prefer job candidates who have proven skills and solid work experience. In order for employers to consider our clients, we cover clients' salaries and workers compensation insurance for a limited number of hours. During this assessment period, we provide job coaching to ensure work safety, compliance, quality of work and monitor progress. Employers have the opportunity to experience the clients' capabilities and contributions during this brief time with the possibility of hiring them as long-term employees after this experience. What distinguishes our program from other vocational training programs is that we place our clients in actual employment situations in a broad range of businesses in our communities from fast food restaurants to retail stores to manufacturing sites.

Dreamcatchers services are based upon the needs, strengths, abilities, and capabilities of the individual seeking our services. All of services are provided one on one to ensure that the information is delivered in a manner specific to that individual rather than as one sized fits all.
Budget
$2,658,505
Program Successes
The success of Dreamcatchers program is measured by the outcomes specific to that contract or by placements and retention. Each person participating in services obtains valuable employment skills and training to help them on their road to employment.

For the 2019 calendar year, Dreamcatchers provided services to 954 clients throughout all of our programs including paid work experience, employment preparation, job placement assistance, and coaching supports.

We provided services to 529 people referred from Department of Rehabilitation with the following outcomes:
- we placed 138 people in jobs where they are being paid by the employer;
- of those employed, 79% retained employment for a minimum of 90 days; and
- of those who reached 90 days of employment, 65% reported they are still employed after six months.

In 2018, Dreamcatchers received a three-year accreditation from Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). This accreditation means that Dreamcatchers passed an in-depth review of its services and meets rigorous CARF guidelines and internationally recognized service standards. This is the sixth three-year accreditation that Dreamcatchers has received.