Eshawn Spencer

Eshawn is a certified IPS trainer and fidelity assessor and is nationally recognized expert in implementing IPS Supported Employment and Supported Education with transition-age youth. She has over 15 years of direct practice experience with transition-age youth with serious mental health challenges including those aging out of the child welfare system, involved in the juvenile and/or criminal justice system, homeless or in residential care, pregnant or parenting, and those that are experiencing their first psychosis illness.  During her time as a Supported Employment & Education Supervisor at the Thresholds Youth and Young Adult program, E-Shawn helped to design and implement an adaptation to the Individual Placement and Support Supported Employment (IPS) for young people in residential care. As the Program Director at Thresholds, E-Shawn oversaw 10 IPS teams, two of which specifically serve transition-age youth. E-Shawn has been instrumental in partnering with stakeholders in order to address barriers to IPS implementation on multiple levels (e.g., system, program, team, family, and individual). E-Shawn, herself, was a witness to hundreds of individuals securing competitive employment with the right supports in place. E-Shawn has championed the integration of peer support in both youth and adult IPS services and collaborates with new research initiatives in order to study new virtual reality and computer-based intervention add-ons to IPS.  E-Shawn has partnered with the Chicago Public School system to bring IPS to high school students and has been invited to share her experiences in engaging at-risk young people in supported employment and supported education with mental health providers, state-level workshops, and conferences across the country. For the last few years, E-Shawn has provided technical assistance and consultation with many agencies locally, nationally, and internationally in their efforts to successfully implement IPS.


Brkout 1C - First Episode Programs: The Need for a SEES on the team.