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Dismas Inc.

Employment Specialist

Dismas Inc.


Job Summary



For the formerly incarcerated, having a place to stay in a supportive environment is the first step toward successful re-entry into society. Having a home, and not just a house, can make all the difference.

Upon their release, returning citizens who have been carefully screened, live at Dismas House as they transition back into the community. They find a safe haven and a family-like atmosphere amid college students, staff, and many volunteers who become part of their daily lives. Typically, residents live for 6-9 months at Dismas House, which is built on a framework of support, self-sufficiency, and personal accountability. Professional caseworkers help to match them with resources to meet each person’s unique needs. For their part, residents stay for a minimum of 90 days, uphold positive standards of living, participate in a holistic programming model, are active members of the household and broader community, and pay a modest program fee.

They leave with a stable income, a supportive network of friends, a greater sense of self-worth, a fresh chance, and real hope for the future. In this way, Dismas House combines a mission of caring with a unique form of crime prevention. It works. To learn more about the impact of Dismas, Inc. please visit


Dismas House has expanded one of its newer services beyond serving residents on campus, Individual Placement and Support (IPS), into the greater community to serve justice-impacted individuals with a pathway to recovery via employment. This evidence-based approach to supported employment is a practice to work with individuals with serious mental illness. Research shows that “work is the best treatment for serious mental illness (i.e., people with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, bipolar, or depression). Two-thirds of people with serious mental illness want to work but only 15% are employed.”  Dismas House has partnered with mental health agencies in Davidson County to support this pathway to employment.


Working from the Nashville office and reporting to the Individual Placement and Support Supervisor, Dismas House of Nashville seeks a full-time Individual Placement and Support Specialist to assist clients in obtaining and maintaining employment that is consistent with their vocational goals and provides support for schooling and technical training for career advancement. We are looking for a compassionate, care-driven professional who believes in facilitating wellness for residents and their families and will take the initiative in effectively communicating with program providers, clients, and Dismas staff.  Further, the ideal candidate must have a reliable car, a safe driving record, and experience and/or passion for working with individuals with severe mental health diagnoses that have been justice-impacted.

Job Responsibilities

Primary Responsibilities

  • Follows the IPS (Individual Placement and Support) model of service delivery.
  • Carries out the services of the IPS Supported Employment program by assisting clients to obtain and maintain employment that is consistent with their vocational goals. Provides support for education and technical training for career advancement.
  • Is the initial point of contact with members being referred for Employment Services only.  Completes initial paperwork, develops goals, assists with a resume, explores survival benefits, and payment options as appropriate, and continues working with the member toward job placement.
  • Continues providing supportive services to members, once they are employed, for a specified period based on need.
  • Will maintain a caseload of 20 clients.
  • Engages clients and establishes trusting, collaborative relationships directed toward the goal of competitive employment in community job settings with other workers who do not necessarily have disabilities.
  • Conducts job development and job search activities directed toward positions that are individualized to the interests and uniqueness of the people on his/her caseload, following the principles and procedures of IPS-supported employment. Must conduct a minimum of six job development contacts per week.
  • Works closely with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR):
    • Is knowledgeable about the Community Rehabilitation Provider Service Guide with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and ensures that all requirements are being met.
    • Meets with the VR counselor at each funding level for Supported Employment members.
    • Completes all reports and forms required by VR for each member.
    • Makes referrals to VR submitting all required documentation.
    • Submits to VR all invoices as appropriate and follows up with them until they are paid.
  • Maintains Employment Database and Statistics:
    • Develops and maintains an Employment Database using the web-based APRICOT system. 
    • Ensures appropriate paperwork is being completed on members in the database by reviewing database submissions and peer monitoring charts.
    • Completes monthly statistics on job-seeking/employed members to be given to the IPS Supervisor.
    • Meets with the appropriate Dismas House and State staff during monitoring site visits.
  • Spends 65% or more of scheduled work hours in the community, for example, meets clients at their homes, workplaces, coffee shops, libraries, One-Stop offices, state VR offices, mental health agency sites, family’s homes, helps clients follow up on job applications, and goes with clients to visit local GED programs and colleges.
  • Performs other duties as assigned and needed.
  • Perform other duties as assigned, including:
    • Is knowledgeable about the contents of the Employee Handbook and accurately follows all procedures.
    • Attends all necessary staff meetings and training.
    • Participates in member activities whenever possible.
    • Works Christmas or Thanksgiving as scheduled.
    • Other duties as assigned.



  • Education and experience equivalent to an undergraduate degree in mental health, social services, or business.
  • At least one year’s experience in a mental health or job development field or work in a social service setting.
  • Ability to work effectively with people.
  • Ability to meet deadlines.
  • Strong organizational and administrative abilities, including increasing efficiencies around systems, procedures, and protocols.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills and a capacity to communicate effectively, empathetically, and with a trauma-informed approach to the clients we serve.
  • Demonstrates high standards of professional and ethical behavior.
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license and show proof of personal automobile insurance.

Must be insurable under DISMAS HOUSE’s automobile insurance.

Additional Information



Salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package including paid medical, health, and dental insurance, holidays, and generous paid time off.

How to Apply

Interested parties should send a resume and cover letter to No phone calls, please.


  • Date Posted: August 3, 2023
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Programs and Service Delivery
  • Service Area: Social / Human Services
  • Start Date: 08/28/2023
  • Salary Range: $50,000.00-$53000.00
  • Working Hours: 40 hours per week