Frontline Initiative

Frontline Initiative is a newsletter published since 1996 that covers issues important to Direct Support Professionals and Frontline Supervisors who support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other disabilities in a variety of community settings. Each edition contains resources, perspectives, and strategies to advance the profession of direct support. Examples of topics covered in Frontline Initiative are person-centered practices, trauma-informed care, and DSP recognition.

Below you will find the two most recent editions of Frontline Initiative. To view all archived editions of Frontline Initiative you need to have an active NADSP Membership. Access to this archive, which includes dozens of previous editions, is just one of the many benefits of NADSP Membership.

Frontline Initiative • Volume 16, Number 2 • 2020

Many direct support professionals (DSPs) enter this field and fall in love with the work. You build relationships with people that become very important. Being a DSP is difficult, skilled work. We don’t need to convince you of this! Sometimes DSPs start in this field with lots of support and training. Other times, these are minimal and you figure things out for yourself. The fact remains that this is essential work. People with disabilities rely on you for supports. What keeps you working in direct support? This issue is about Making Direct Support a Career. Do you think of yourself as a professional?

In this issue, DSPs reflect on their shift to thinking of themselves as professionals and having a career in direct support, rather than simply a job. Direct support is often considered entry-level work. In some organizations, there is little access to a career ladder. But the opportunities to grow as a professional are out there. The E-badge Academy though NADSP is a program that authors in this issue will reflect on as they share with you their journey on their career path.

Frontline Initiative • Volume 16, Number 1 • 2020

This issue of Frontline Initiative focuses on developing awareness, knowledge, and skills for supporting healthy relationships. We also include information about tools and resources that you, as a DSP, can use for supporting people to develop both friendships and romantic relationships. We hope this issue inspires you to start a conversation with the people you support about the relationships they currently have and those they wish they could have. We hope you find some tools to help equip you as you support people to develop healthy relationships.

Frontline Initiative • Volume 15, Number 2 • 2019

In this issue of Frontline Initiative, you’ll leave about different concepts related to self-care. You’ll hear from DSPs and others involved in direct support who are practicing self-care. You’ll learn about emotional intelligence, developing mindful awareness, emotional agility, resilience, compassion fatigue, and trauma-informed care. You’ll read about the importance of good nutrition, hydration, and regular activity. Several DSPs and others emphasize the importance of taking time for themselves to process and unwind. All these forms of self-care can be components to help you maintain energy and stamina throughout the demands of your day.

Frontline Initiative • Volume 15, Number 1 • 2018

In this issue, we recognize the changing role of the Direct Support Professional (DSP). We highlight public policies that can support your changing role, and ways that you support brighter futures. We focus on the successes of self-advocates, DSPs, and others who have taken and are taking action to improve quality of life for those they support through implementing person-centered practices and advocating for needed change. We hope these stories inspire you in the crucial work you do.

Frontline Initiative • Volume 14, Number 2 • 2017

In this issue, we focus on how to support peoples’ choice, direction, and control. Critical culture and policy changes are impacting the ways direct support professionals (DSPs) provide supports. Our aim in this issue is to make you aware of these changes. We also want to provide you with resources to help people make choices, take direction and feel control over their lives. This starts with helping people make day-to-day decisions in the ways we provide supports.

NADSP Membership

In addition to viewing archived editions of Frontline Initiative, through NADSP Membership you will have direct and exclusive access to information, resources, tools, and training to improve the knowledge and skill set of the DSP workforce, and the quality of life for people receiving services. These benefits include webinars, E-Blasts, events, discounted registration, and more!