ECOS Employment Circles of Support

Employment Circles of Support Participant image

What is ECOS?

Employment Circles of Support, ECOS, is a pilot project funded for 12 months by a Seed Challenge from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. It is auspiced by Disability and Advocacy Information Services.

The purpose of the seed grant was to further develop the idea of ECOS with 5 families and establish whether or not it works. At the end of 12 months a ‘How to Guide’ is developed to guide and empower families to create their own ECOS and share their experiences with others so they too can use the methodology.

 ECOS is an option outside of traditional services. There are no contracts to sign and support is freely given. It gives choice and control to the individual as they choose their path, how they are going to get there and the people who are going to help them. The aim is to find long term work placement in accordance with the individuals’ skills and interest, with employment as the outcome.

Their circle members meet regularly to discuss the individuals’ employment goals and how they are going to assist them to achieve that. Minutes are taken for reflection. It is a long term commitment to the individual. The aim is for individuals with a disability to gain sustainable, socially valued roles in the community, lead more inclusive and economic lives whilst having a naturally occurring, organic support circle not to care for them as such, but to be there for them.

ECOS can start at any age, however, we do encourage families to start at school age.


About the guide

A Workbook and Guide to Creating Your Own Employment Circles of Support has been produced to empower families to do it for themselves and then share their learnings with others.

The first section of the guide outlines ECOS and its background, how it came about, the methodology behind it and who was involved.

The second section is a step by step guide with all the work sheets and templates for families to use to assist them to create their own ECOS and lastly is a section dedicated to the five young participants in the project celebrating their success stories.

An audio version of the guide is available below. Copies will be available in Braille on request.


Employment Circles of Support Workbook and Guide link

View ECOS Guide 

DAIS has a feedback survey in survey monkey on the guide . This will help us to know how it is being used . Click on the button below 

Employment Circles of Support Workbook and Guide Audio Version 

Below is the audio production of the ECOS Workbook and Guide . The audio files are grouped in sections which are: How it all began-Audio, How to create your own ECOS-Audio,
Case Studies ECOS Shining Stars-audio
To listen to the audio files select each file individually. 

How it all began-Audio

ECOS Guide mp3

About this audio guide mp3

Table of Contents mp3

How it all began mp3

The Project and the Participants mp3

Who should read this guide mp3

Who can start an Employment Circles of Support mp3

Why have an Employment Circles of Support mp3

What needs to happen to make ECOS work for you mp3

How to create your own ECOS-Audio

Step by Step Guide mp3

Tips mp3

Checklist mp3

Employment Goals Map mp3 

Circle Members mp3

Agenda Template mp3

ECOS Easy Version mp3 

Action Plan mp3 

Case Studies- ECOS Shining Stars-Audio

Alex mp3

Meg mp3

Georgia mp3

Stephanie mp3 

Felicity mp3 

Acknowledgements mp3

Closing Announcement mp3

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