Getting problem drug users (back) into employment

download report

Transcript Getting problem drug users (back) into employment

Working Towards Recovery
Nicola Singleton
UK Drug Policy Commission
Pathways to Employment Workshop: Capital Concerns conference
9th March 2011
Relevant UKDPC research
Working towards recovery
Study of service users, drug treatment &
employment service professionals, employers
Stigma towards drug users & their families
Extent, nature & the impact on recovery
Crucial to recovery
I think that it's crucial for pathways to
employment to be established with drug
users otherwise it makes a detox and
rehab and treatment avenue almost a
farce really, unless you have something at
the end of it what is the point of going
through all of that?
An integral part of the rehabilitation process, but
also an end goal.
 Concern on all sides if work introduced “too soon”.
Recognised by the public
73% agreed “people recovering from drug
dependence should have the same rights
to a job as everyone else”
… and some employers
A number of employers we interviewed
reported very positive experiences:
– Loyal
– Hard-working
– Enthusiastic
But not straightforward …
An array of hurdles
Becoming ‘Job Ready’ - user focus
Primary needs
– Accommodation
– Health
– Personal support
– Gaining confidence and motivation.
Detachment from ‘everyday’ living and the
labour market.
Qualifications and skills
The issue of stigma
Recovering drug users experience:
– Job offers withdrawn following disclosure
– Sacked when drug use history revealed
– Being told to come off methadone/subutex even
though performance satisfactory
– Blamed unfairly for any thefts in workplace
– Self-employed people losing customers
– Exclude themselves from jobs requiring CRB checks
– Made fearful by colleagues attitudes to “junkie scum”
– Unsympathetic managers
The issue of stigma
Public attitudes survey
– 41% would be willing to work with someone with a history
of drug dependence (10% do or have done).
– BUT People who have lived, worked or been close
friends with someone with drug dependence have more
positive attitudes.
Employers attitudes:
– ~ 3/4 of employers in small survey would not employ a
former heroin or crack user even if fit for the job;
– < 1/5 had experience of employing someone with drug
– Several employers interviewed who had reported
Issues for employers
Risk of employing PDUs
– Reputation
– Managing drug use
– To other employees
Fit For The Job
– Reliability, honesty, capability
– Stereotypical views & lack of information
Practical issues
– Criminal record, health problems, treatment regime
and medication
Long time frame – valuing interim outcomes
 Co-ordination & responsiveness
– efficiencies
– collaboration around shared outcomes
Addressing attitudes & concerns
– Positive examples – demonstrate benefits to employers
– Provide information guidance & support
Address systemic barriers
What now? Co-ordination & responsiveness
Focus on individuals - complex, varying needs
– realistic timescales
– personalised, flexible, often multi-agency response
– ongoing care and support
 a single Recovery/Rehabilitation Plan?
Commissioning for recovery
– range of services/opportunities
– incentivising positive outcomes
– optimising use of funding streams
Engage employers
What now? Addressing attitudes & concerns
Building motivation & aspirations – clients &
Focus on individuals – people not PDUs
Greater use of volunteering & work placements
Promote success stories – share good practice
Provide information and guidance
– Methadone and employment
– Handling disclosure
In-work support – employer as well as employee
What now? Addressing systemic barriers
Incentives for employers? – risk mitigation
 Review of legislative / contractual barriers
ISA / CRB checks
Benefit rules
Contractual clauses relating to criminal records
2-year drug-free rules
ROA & Equalities Act
Public sector leading by example?
Thank you
020 7812 3794
[email protected]