Q: Who is R. Work Group?
We are a group of professionals committed to helping you find and keep the “right” job.
Q: Who uses your services?
People with diverse backgrounds, such as labourers, technicians, secretaries, sales clerks and professionals. We specialize in serving people with physical disabilities, work-related injuries, chronic illness, traumatic brain injuries or mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia.
Q: What type of jobs do people usually obtain?
There are a wide variety of jobs people obtain, such as:
- Retail and Service Industry:
- Food Demonstrator
- Customer Service Representative
- Group Home Worker
- Sales Clerk, Stock Person
- Program Administrator
- Trades and Transportation:
- Electrical Instructor
- Truck Driver
- Construction Labourer
These are only a few examples. The type of job you secure will depend on your skills, abilities and interests!
Q: What if I want training so I have a “career” and not just a job?
We will help you explore retraining options. This can include having you complete interest inventories, aptitude and achievement assessments that will help you and your counsellor gain a good picture of where you are at now, and what some options are for the future. If you need formal training, from a college for example, we will assist you in connecting with the college and determining if the funding is available for you. We can also access funding from the provincial government to help create on-the-job training opportunities for you with employers.
Q: How long will it take to find a job?
The length of time of services depends on your needs. Sometimes people work with us for as little as a month, and other times we may work together for up to a year.
Q: Do you find the job for me?
We help you find the job leads and sometimes will refer you to an employer. Ultimately, the decision for being hired (and taking the job) is up to you.
Q: What is expected of me?
We want to work with you to help you find a job. Your counselor will establish with you what you need to do to find a job.
Q: How do you get your job leads?
We have a current database of over 200 employers in Grande Prairie and area, and are currently establishing a similar database in Hinton and area. To keep connected with employers we meet with them regularly. We not only coach job seekers about their job search, we search for jobs ourselves!
Q: Who pays for the services?
We have funding through the provincial government department of Alberta Human Services: Alberta Works. CareerFriends is funded in part by the Government of Canada. In some instances, people may also access our services through funding from insurance companies, or employers. Contact us and we’ll find out if you are eligible for funding.
Q: How do I get started?
Call us at 539-1072 to schedule an appointment, or complete the Contact Us form. Dropping by doesn’t always work for us because we may be with clients or out of the office meeting with employers. We will call you back and book an appointment with you to see a counsellor.
Q: Why would I refer a patient/client to R. Work Group?
People who have disabilities frequently encounter numerous and varied barriers to securing and maintaining suitable employment. Many people tend to see the disability first and disregard the person’s abilities. This tendency often adversely affects the person with a disability resulting in viewing themselves in this manner as well. People from all types of work backgrounds are helped through our services from professionals and trades people to those entering the labour market for the first time.
We are experienced and skilled specialists in this field who have worked with people who have disabilities since 1990. We work with the client as an individual with their holistic needs first; we identify their disability(ies), and then we identify and help them focus on their abilities.
We believe that each person has a desire and a right to achieve a lifestyle of independence and integration within their workplace, family and local community. We believe in the individual’s desire to maximize their quality of life experience, to be considered to be valued and positively contributing members of our society. We assist them in this process. Our clients who have achieved success have done so through tremendous courage and effort while applying learned success principles and developing positive attitudes. They are recognized and applauded for their hard work.
You would consider referring a patient/client to us to assist them in maximizing their quality of life experience.
Q: What is Vocational Rehabilitation?
Vocational Rehabilitation as it relates to R. Work Group can be defined as a set of services offered to individuals with psychiatric/psychological and/or physical disabilities. These services are designed to enable participants to attain skills, resources, attitudes, and expectations needed to compete in the interview process, get a job, and keep a job. Services offered may also help an individual retrain for employment after an injury or mental disorder has disrupted previous or current employment.
The purpose of Vocational Rehabilitation services is to prepare qualified applicants to achieve a lifestyle of independence and integration within their workplace, family and local community. This transition is achieved through work assessment/evaluation, job readiness services, and job counseling services. For individuals with psychiatric disabilities, situational assessments are generally used to evaluate vocational skills and potential.
Q: What is your approach to service delivery?
Vocational rehabilitation services are based on individual needs and defined as any goods or services an individual might need to be employable, such as assistive technology devices and services.
Q: What are your best practices?
Our best practices in vocational rehabilitation include individual choice, person-centered planning, integrated setting, natural supports, job placement, and career development. The term integrated setting refers to placing individuals in usual employment situations rather than making placements into sheltered workshops or other segregated settings. Natural supports are the person’s already existing support network, including family members, service providers and friends, who can help the person reach a goal, such as the employment of their choice. Person-centered planning is a technique in which a plan for a person’s future is developed incorporating the person’s work interests if at all possible.
Part of the program services includes meeting with employers in the community to identify currently available jobs, promote hiring people with disabilities, and building up a comprehensive employer database.
Q: What is considered a disability?
Any medical condition that creates a barrier to finding and/or keeping suitable and viable employment is considered a disability for the purpose of our services. Our services are delivered to people with various abilities. That is, some people require counseling support only, while others may require us to provide support at the work-site for an extended period of time.
Physical disabilities may include:
- Lower limb limitations, e.g. mobility issues, muscular weakness, hemiplegia, paraplegia, muscular disorders, diabetes with complications, nervous system disorders (e.g. paresthesia), hip/knee/ankle fusions, joint injuries/conditions, arthritis, decreased stamina
- Traumatic brain injury
- Cardiovascular disease
- Severe allergies
- Respiratory disease
- Back pain
- Sensory deprivation e.g. visually impaired, deaf
- Upper limb limitations, e.g. rotator cuff injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, synovitis, bursitis, weakness, arthritis
- Digestive system disorders, e.g. ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease
- Any major physical body system disorder that results in requiring some type of accommodation to manage
Psychological/psychiatric disabilities and emotional disorders may include:
- Depression, anxiety
- Bipolar disorder
- Mood disorders
- Personality disorders
- Any major mind disorder that results in requiring some type of accommodation to manage
Q: How do you get paid for your services?
Our services are contracted by Alberta Human Services: Alberta Works to work with many people who have disabilities find and keep a job.
Various insurance companies contract our services for clients who may be on short- or long-term disability and need assistance to return to suitable employment.
We also work with clients in the legal system who require a vocational assessment or evaluation for earnings loss determination. Comprehensive life care planning may be completed.
We work with employers to assist with employee retention, recruitment, vocational planning for existing employees, work accommodation needs, worksite evaluations, managing difficult employees,etc.
Clients who meet disability eligibility requirements are not charged for our services. Clients who do not meet disability eligibility requirements and would like our assistance pay for our services directly.
Q: What is the process that is followed?
Potential clients may be referred by someone or the client may contact us directly. If the client is being referred, completing a referral form is required. A referral form for professionals is available on this website. It may be completed and submitted online. Please include as much information as is known about the individual you are referring.
Once we get the referral, the client will be contacted to arrange a screening interview in our office. Typically, this can be arranged within a few days of the referral.
Q: What is your placement rate?
Our placement rate is 70%.
Q: My patient/client is receiving AISH benefits. Are they able to work?
In selected cases, yes. Each client is assessed on an individual basis. Those that are able to work are assisted. Most of the clients that are able to work, do so on a casual or part-time basis. The AISH program allows for clients to supplement their benefits from employment earnings on a rated basis. Clients can experience improvement in their health status thus increasing their employability status. We have worked with clients who have maintained a full time suitable job and no longer required participation in the AISH program.
Q: What will be expected of me when I refer a patient/client to R. Work Group?
- With your patient’s/client’s consent, provide required information in the interest of collaboration amongst all caregivers
- With your patient’s/client’s consent, participate in case conferences if requested
- Should any concerns with our service delivery arise, please let us know
- If you are pleased with our service delivery, please let everyone know
Q: Where are you located?
See Contact Us.
Q: How do I refer a patient/client to you?
- Complete and submit the referral form for professionals found on this website. Complete and submit the medical confirmation of diagnosis form.
- You can fax the completed referral form to (780) 532-7034 or mail it. Include the completed medical confirmation of diagnosis form.
- Call us at (780) 539-1072 and we will complete the referral form with you. Complete and fax or mail us the medical confirmation of diagnosis form.
- You can complete the referral and medical confirmation of diagnosis forms, give these to your patient/client and have the client contact us directly. The patient/client can call us or they can drop in to our office anytime between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. excluding weekends and statutory holidays. It would be a good idea to have them call in first because occasionally we close the office for mandatory out-of-office meetings.
Q: I have questions that aren’t addressed here.
Please feel free to call us anytime. We would be happy to assist you. If we are all occupied and no one answers the telephone, please leave a message on our voice mail. We check our messages frequently throughout the day and will return your call as soon as we can.