Inside our Research on the DSP Workforce
DSPs are critical for the quality of life and community integration of people with disabilities; they should be recognized and paid accordingly.
Why is it important?
Direct support professionals (DSPs) provide individualized personal assistance to people with disabilities and older adults. They not only provide a wide range of services, but must often balance a complex set of competencies to do so. Despite having to master a complex set of skills, and juggle many different roles, DSPs typically have low wages and a lack of benefits, little training, and lack a career ladder. These reasons all contribute to the very high turnover rate for DSPs.
Not only does DSP turnover impact DSPs themselves, it also significantly impacts the services organizations provide to people with disabilities. Our research examines the impact of DSP turnover on people with disabilities, such as its impact on injuries, abuse and neglect, emergency department utilization, and quality of life outcomes. We also examine best-practices in the training and treatment of DSPs, such as how training increases the quality of the supports DSPs provide.
When staff are trained to promote dignity and respect, there is a 61% reduction in 'challenging' behaviors
People with IDD who experience DSP turnover are 2.1 times less likely to have natural support networks
There is a 40% reduction in emergency department visits when organizations implement ongoing staff development
People with IDD who experience DSP turnover are 3.7 times less likely to live in integrated environments
When people with IDD experience DSP turnover, the annual number of injuries they have increases by 146%
Ongoing Staff Development Improves the Health and Safety of People with IDD
In this study we explored the relationship between ongoing staff development and the abuse/neglect incidents, emergency room visits, and injuries of people with IDD. We found that agencies with ongoing staff development have significantly better outcomes among the people with IDD they supported.Continue Reading