Vocational Services

Vocational Services

Vocational rehabilitation services at Siskin Hospital are offered to anyone with a disability who lives in the Greater Chattanooga or North Georgia area.

Vocational rehabilitation services provide a crucial link in the continuum of physical rehabilitation, helping individuals return to a productive, meaningful life in the community and workforce.


As a final step toward independence, individuals find pride and a sense of purpose in returning to work and to independent living skills through participating in the programs provided through the Vocational Services Department. Services provided are:

  • Vocational Evaluation
  • Community Re-entry Services Program
  • Pre-vocational Skills Training Program
  • Project SEARCH
  • Supported Employment Program
  • Travel Training Program

For more information about the Vocational Services Department at Siskin Hospital, call 423.634.1635 or 423.634.1537.


Vocational Evaluation

The Vocational Evaluation at Siskin Hospital is intended to assess an individual’s potential to return to work following disability. The vocational evaluation assesses an individual’s:

  • Aptitudes
  • Achievements
  • Abilities and limitations (physical and cognitive)
  • Interests
  • Transferable skills
  • Obstacles to employment
  • Projected time period for therapeutic intervention
  • Functional abilities in a simulated work environment

It is highly recommended that the vocational evaluator at Siskin Hospital complete a vocational evaluation before any other services are provided. The vocational evaluation can help determine which of the programs offered by the Vocational Services Department would best suit the individual’s needs.


Community Re-entry Services Program

The Community Re-entry Services (CRS) Program at Siskin Hospital provides treatment that leads to paid employment and independent living skills for clients with a brain injury or other neurological impairment that are ready to enter the competitive workforce and the community.

The CRS Program is a day treatment program and is usually a stepping stone for pre-employment activities.  After completion of the CRS Program, the client is usually transitioned into the Supported Employment Program (described in more detail below). Currently, the CRS Program operates Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Please note that this is subject to change depending on activities available in the community and the individual’s volunteer/work schedule.

A client’s length of time in the CRS Program is dependent upon the client’s progress and input from the vocational rehabilitation team. However, the average length of stay is from six to nine months.

Criteria for eligibility into the CRS Program includes:

  • 18 years of age or older (or completed high school)
  • Diagnosis of a brain injury, including acquired or traumatic brain injury, stroke, or other neurological impairments
  • Free from active substance abuse problems
  • Independent in mobility, eating, and toileting
  • An expressed desire to enter/re-enter the competitive workforce

Some of the services provided in the CRS Program include:

  • Independent Living Skills Training
  • Cognitive Rehabilitation
  • Behavior Modification
  • Leisure and Community-based Activities
  • Individual and Group Counseling
  • Work Readiness Skills Training
  • Volunteer Worksite Training


Pre-vocational Skills Training Program

The Pre-vocational Skills Training (PST) Program provides one-on-one counseling to address job readiness, job search, and job placement activities for individuals with orthopedic injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, Asperger’s Syndrome, and developmental disabilities (not covered under the Medicaid waiver). Emphasis is on participation in a volunteer job(s) to assess work behaviors/skills and gain recent job experience that can lead to competitive employment.  After completion of the PST Program, the client is usually transitioned into the Supported Employment Program (described in more detail below).

Criteria for eligibility into the PST Program includes:

  • 18 years of age or older (or completed high school)
  • Free from active substance abuse problems
  • Independent in mobility, eating and toileting
  • An expressed desire to enter/re-enter the competitive workforce


Project SEARCH

Siskin Hospital is partnering with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST), Hamilton County Schools, and the State of Tennessee Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to bring Project SEARCH to the Chattanooga area. The Project SEARCH Program involves an extensive period of work-based skills training, career exploration, innovative adaptations, long-term job coaching, and continuous feedback from teachers, skills trainers, and BCBST employees.

Six to 10 Hamilton County high school seniors with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities are selected to participate in this transition-to-work program on a yearly basis. Siskin Hospital provides two skills trainers, Hamilton County Schools provides a teacher, and BCBST provides the real-life work-training sites (one for each intern selected). Interns work through three 10-week rotations to learn skills that will make them competitively employable at either BCBST or at other local businesses. Upon graduation from the Project SEARCH Program, interns not offered employment at BCBST are transitioned to the Supported Employment Program at Siskin Hospital.

To be eligible to participate in this program, high school students must have an Individual Education Program (IEP) and plan to participate in Project SEARCH during their last year of high school eligibility. Applications are submitted to the Hamilton County Schools system in January and a Skills Day is held in the spring to determine the best candidates to become interns. Team representatives from each partnering organization meet to selected the final candidates. New Interns start in August and finish in May of each year.


Supported Employment Program

The Supported Employment Program at Siskin Hospital provides clients with disabilities who have successfully completed the CRS, PST or Project SEARCH Programs the assistance required to find, keep, and be successful in paid employment.

The Supported Employment Program assists clients to reach their goal of returning to work by providing:

  • Career counseling
  • Resume development
  • Application completion assistance
  • Job search/job placement assistance
  • Assistance with assessments given by employers
  • On-the-job performance evaluations
  • Identification of reasonable accommodations
  • Job coaching at the worksite
  • Job retention counseling

Extended follow-along services (counseling and/or job coaching with the client at the job for 120 days after employment. Longer time can be provided if needed.)


Travel Training Program

The program is a partnership between Siskin Hospital and Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA). For more information about the Travel Training Program, please call 423.634.1576 or email vocservices@siskinrehab.org.

The Travel Training Program at Siskin Hospital equips individuals who have disabilities with the skills to travel independently on public transportation in the Chattanooga area. The Travel Training Program is a one-on-one, individualized free service available to all persons with a disability or anyone who is over the age of 65.


Charity Care and Donation

To alleviate the cost of vocational rehabilitation services, Siskin Hospital accepts donations specifically designated for the Vocational Services Department.

Find out how you can make a difference in the lives of individuals in need of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

For more information about the Vocational Services Department at Siskin Hospital, call 423.634.1635 or 423.634.1537.

Call to insist on Siskin 423.634.1400
or email outpatient@siskinrehab.org

INSIST on Siskin Hospital

You have a right to choose!