Resource Guide: VR Counselor Retention

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Counselor burnout and high turnover decreases the VR system’s ability to support people with disabilities reach their employment and life goals. When staff members leave, their consumers may be assigned a new counselor. This change can be distressing and discouraging for all involved. It often requires consumers to retell their entire story, the new counselor to learn case specifics, and both the counselor and consumer to emotionally invest in trying to build rapport with one another.

Yet, research shows that VR counselors with 5 or more years of experience have more successful employment outcomes for their consumers. Improving counselor retention could significantly improve the VR system’s ability to support consumers reach their employment and quality of life goals.

Experienced employees who provide meaningful guidance, counseling, and services to VR participants are one of the most critical pieces to the VR puzzle to help individuals with disabilities be successful. Source: San Diego State University Interwork Institute

Recommended Resources

Use these resources to explore strategies for retaining your valued vocational rehabilitation counselors.

From the TACQE Library:

On-Demand Training:

Resources and Strategies:

Other Recommended Resources:


VR Center for Innovative Training in Rehabilitation Counseling:
Get tips and tricks to aid Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals in recognizing burnout and how to reduce stress. Explore burnout as a response to stress and further look at how different types of trauma responses can lead to burnout.


ASKEARN provides an excellent library of resources related to retaining employees with and without disabilities. Here are a select few:

Forbes offers 15 Effective WorkPlace Strategies that could increase employee satisfaction and help you retain your valued employees.

Society of Human Resource Management:
Use best practice guidance recommendations from SHRM to retain your employers by focusing on their needs and expectations.

Harvard Business Review:
Get tips on 5 Ways to Boost Your Resilience at Work based on some of the latest neuroscience, behavioral and organizational research.

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