Bridges to Work Vocational Program
Friendship Home’s Bridges to Work vocational program empowers people with developmental disabilities to explore their career plans, set goals and build the necessary skills to attain and retain a job. We currently have 52 participants in the program, with 42 in paid positions. Our 26 Employment Partners include a variety of businesses throughout the South Shore and beyond that welcome our committed, responsible workers into their workforce. Please click here to see our Employment Partners.
- job and skill development
- application/interview support
- job fair preparation
- on-the-job skills training with job coaches until he/she can work independently
- regular follow-up and assessment
Friendship Home’s professional and caring staff members meet with program participants and their family members to provide support and guidance, to discuss community service and group training projects, and to design a vocational plan uniquely tailored to meeting each individual’s personal career goals, as outlined in the Individual Vocational Plan. Our Job Developer approaches employers in the community to find the right job that suits the skills and desires of the participant. When the Job Developer is able to match the participant with an appropriate position, a job coach is assigned to accompany the participant on the job site with the goal of eventually having him/her work independently. Transportation is provided between Friendship Home and all job sites.
In addition to job placement, the BTW program offers a diverse curriculum that enables participants to choose courses that meets their interests and needs. BTW participants are encouraged to volunteer and participate in local events, thereby raising awareness and recognition for the gifts that they bring to our communities.
The popular program is heavily demanded since many individuals need services at the age of 22 when they can no longer attend public high school. Interested applicants must participate in an in-take process and meet with the Director before he/she can be accepted into the program. If you would like to learn more about the Bridges to Work program, please contact Bridges to Work Program Director, Amelia Silvia at 781-659-8202.
The program has grown tremendously since it started with four members in 2010 after Friendship Home had opened its doors. Designed as a 12-week entrepreneurial training program, the participants engaged in brainstorming sessions, business plan development, budgeting and team building activities. The participants developed their own business – the “Friends-4-Ever” events business – with the goal of running monthly theme parties. The first party was a Beach Party in 2010 and the theme parties continue today under the guidance of our Social Recreational Program Director, Gina Froio. Sample themes include Movie Night, Dancing with the Stars, Disney theme party and other holiday celebrations. BTW members still create the theme, make decorations, set up and help with the party details.
“It’s hard for me to find the words to express how happy my daughter is at Friendship Home. She loves Bridges to Work, the Gourmet Cooking Club, outings and theme parties. She wants to do it all. … She is a changed person, matured and caring, with a smile on her face all the time. Thank you, Friendship Home!”
Friendship Home mother