Direct Support Professionals
A stable workforce of caring, competent, creative, well-compensated, and qualified Direct Support Professionals is essential to providing safe, high quality and effective supports and services for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
It is The Arc New York’s position that:
- Direct Support Professionals (DSP) are essential workers who should receive a wage commensurate with the highly-skilled work they provide, especially as compared to similar jobs across the healthcare sector.
- A living wage and benefits sufficient for economic security are vital in order to attract and retain a qualified workforce to fully support people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
- Relevant funding sources must support provider agencies in delivering high-quality, certificate-based training which covers the essential knowledge, ethical principles and practices, and skills necessary for effective direct care support.
- Training must ensure that Direct Support Professionals be educated in the philosophy and values that persons with intellectual and other developmental disabilities are members of the community and should have every opportunity for choice and control over their lives.
- Providers must foster the professional and personal development of Direct Support Professionals by providing access to continuing education, training, genuine career roadmaps, and professional advancement opportunities.
- National, state and local private and public entities must engage in policy initiatives that facilitate employment placement and offer financial supports as needed to increase the number of people employed in direct support work.
- Strong regional relationships with 2 and 4-year colleges and universities should be cultivated to develop a solid pipeline for DSP recruitment and professional development.
- Staff assignments of Direct Support Professionals must be thoroughly evaluated in order to minimize unnecessary transfers and prevent the resulting disruption of the continuity of service to persons with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
- A work environment must be provided that will foster optimum employee satisfaction.
- We monitor factors contributing to DSPs’ working environment including availability in their communities of public transportation, child and elder care, health care, and affordable housing.
- We maintain awareness of competitive forces in the labor market including trends in employee benefits (e.g., sick time, personal time off, health care and retirement) and minimum wage.