Partner Agency Spotlight: Lutheran Social Services of Illinois

In 2021, Impact was asked to participate in a national research study with the BEES Research Group, analyzing the effectiveness of its Employment Services Program model. This study was a success, enrolling 285 participants in the randomized controlled study.

Based on the success of the initial study, BEES asked Impact to collaborate on a second study, this time with Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI). This new two-year study will examine Impact and LSSI’s efforts to integrate employment services into substance use treatment programing. The enrollment target for this study will be 300 participants, randomly assigned to a service or control group.

LSSI, based in Des Plaines, IL, provides a range of community-based social services for children, families, adults, and seniors. They also provide residential mental health and substance use treatment programs.

Impact started working with LSSI as part of a statewide effort to offer employment services to participants moving out of mental health facilities and reintegrating into the community. Impact assigned an employment specialist to LSSI, who was welcomed into LSSI’s treatment team meetings and integrated into LSSI’s service delivery structure. After several months of successful collaboration, LSSI and Impact expanded their partnership to include LSSI’s substance use treatment program.

“LSSI has been great to work with,” says Christopher Knoper, Impact’s Director of Participant Services. “It’s such a welcoming environment for both participants and Impact staff. We’re really looking forward to giving more people access to employment services and building on our relationship with LSSI.”

LSSI staff enjoy the open collaboration with Impact staff and enjoy working with them. We sometimes face barriers with follow-up and engagement on behalf of the clients after they have expressed interest in working. The Impact staff diligently work to engage the clients and build relationships over time. The success of this collaboration is demonstrated by the number of clients obtaining employment and being able to maintain it over time.

LSSI Community Support Team