Policy makers and provider organizations must establish and support a stable, competent, adequately compensated workforce of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). Doing so ensures the quality and continuity of the community services that support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.*
The lack of quality and continuity and the often inadequate amount of support they receive from DSPs is a key factor in the failure of some of our constituents to thrive in the community. Inadequate compensation hampers both recruitment and retention. Inadequate funding for training of DSPs and their supervisors as well as lack of sufficient supervision threatens health and safety. It also hinders access to quality services. Annual turnover rates among DSPs of 35% to 70% are not unusual.
Stable, caring, competent, creative, adequately compensated, and qualified DSPs are essential to providing safe and effective supports and services for our constituents. Such a workforce requires:
Board of Directors, AAIDD
August 18, 2008
Board of Directors, The Arc of the United States
August 4, 2008
Congress of Delegates, The Arc of the United States
November 8, 2008
* “People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities” refers to those defined by AAIDD classification and DSM IV. In everyday language they are frequently referred to as people with cognitive, intellectual and/or developmental disabilities although the professional and legal definitions of those terms both include others and exclude some defined by DSM IV.