Tools and Resources

  • “Coverage of Direct Service Workforce Continuing Education and Training within Medicaid Policy and Rate Setting”.- CMS and the National Direct Service Workforce Resource Center released a toolkit for state Medicaid agencies titled, “Coverage of Direct Service Workforce Continuing Education and Training within Medicaid Policy and Rate Setting”. This toolkit is an important resource for states to help improve the quality of services for people with disabilities by developing (and paying) a higher capacity direct support workforce. NADSP members might be interested in using it as an advocacy tool to implement substantial change in how we create a profession for direct support.

  • Voices from the Frontlines III - This new training tool reflects the voices of nearly 800 direct support professionals from more than 100 provider agencies who attended six regional conferences in New York and participated in open forums in which the participants could share stories in the context of discussing matters of importance to the profession of direct support. It is to be used as a training tool for providers to introduce their direct support staff to the universal competency areas, ethical practices and the need to work with intention to assist people with disabilities to achieve their potential.
  • Using the Customized Employment Approach Effectively - This article by Alberto Migliore and John Butterworth describes a study that measured the degree to which community employment direct support professionals used the customized employment techniques. It also offers a useful breakdown of key activities involved in providing employment supports with a customized employment approach.
  • National Direct Service Workforce Resource Center - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is pleased to announce the opening of the National Direct Service Workforce Resource Center. The Resource Center provides information and technical assistance to state and local governments, non-profit organizations, employers, and professionals who want to pursue initiatives to improve the recruitment and retention of direct care workers. The Resource Center brings together the nation's premier resources on the topic of the Direct Support Workforce. These resources, which include web-based clearinghouses, technical experts, training tools and more, cover the full range of Direct Service Worker consumer populations.
  • Direct Support Professional Recruitment Toolkit (brochure) - The Direct Support Professional Recruitment Toolkit arms individuals, families, consortiums, and organizations with the marketing tools they need to attract and recruit quality staff into direct support roles. Traditional sources for employee recruitment including newspaper ads, brochures, and flyers, have frequently been generic and flat. This tool changes that approach into a dynamic and targeted recruitment campaign for human service agencies and those who direct their own supports.
  • Workforce Status and Outcomes Assessment - Helps to determine your success in recruitment and retention efforts.
  • Direct Support Professionals: The Frontline of Change - Published by The New York State Association of Community and Residential Agencies (NYSACRA), Direct Support Professionals: The Frontline of Change presents a context for NYSACRA’s efforts by discussing the significant and successful transformation of New York State’s service system for individuals with developmental disabilities over the past 40 years; as well as the roles of, and challenges faced by, direct support professionals who were and continue to be at the forefront of change. Printed copies of this publication are available for $3.00 per copy plus postage-- contact NYSACRA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Voices from the Frontlines - In this publication, published by The New York State Association of Community and Residential Agencies (NYSACRA), Direct Support Professional speak directly, and often eloquently, about their mission, accomplishments, and challenges.
  • Assessing Retention Outcomes - This document and form will help you to determine your turnover and vacancy rates to choose strategies for retention, identify reasons your agency experiences turnover, and provide a benchmark for how well current interventions are working.
  • Training Needs Assessment - DSP Version - This survey lists each of the competency areas and specific skills from the Residential Version of the Community Supports Skill Standards and asks DSPs to prioritize their most important training needs.
  • New Staff Survey - This survey assesses the extent to which a new employee's experiences matched his or her expectations. Averages scores of less than 4 on the five point scales identify areas in which better information should be provided during the hiring process.
  • Staff Satisfaction Survey - The first page of this survey is a general satisfaction survey for staff. Items on which fewer than 80% of the respondents say the organization is good or excellent are areas where changes may be needed. The second page of this survey summarizes opinions about the best aspect of organizations, what organizations can do differently to help people in their jobs, factors that make people want to leave and factors that make employees want to stay at the organization. The response choices were developed based on open ended responses to these questions from several hundred direct support professionals in several studies.
  • Exit Survey - This is an adaptation of the staff satisfaction survey specifically designed to learn the opinions of staff who are leaving. Because the questions are parallel, scores can be compared to those for staff who are current employees.
  • Agency Plan Hints and Sample - Agency Plan Hints and Sample is a tool to use when completing your agency plans. We have also included a sample plan in this docment for review. It will help you think about many of the things you need to include or at least think about when preparing your specific agency plan.
  • Direct Support Professional Self-Assessment - This assessment tool is designed to help Direct Support Professionals identify their current level of skill in the Community Support Competency Skills Standards, and to serve as a basis for a self-development plan in these areas.
  • Training Needs Assessment - FLS version - This survey lists each of the competency areas and specific skills from the Minnesota Frontline Supervisor Competencies and Performance Indicators and asks frontline supervisors to prioritize their most important training needs.
  • Frontline Supervisor Self-Assessment - This assessment tool is designed to help Frontline Supervisors identify their current level of skill in the Minnesota Frontline Supervisor Competencies and Performance Indicators, and to serve as a basis for a self-development plan in these areas.
  • Market Analysis Survey - This survey can be used to learn about the demographic and work characteristics of employees in an organization, county, or state. It was devleoped for use in Ohio for a recruitment campaign.
  • Recruitment Source Effectiveness - This chart can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of recruitment strategies. Use this form to calculate which recruitment source yielded the highest percentage of actual hires.
  • Effect of Recruitment Sources on Retention - This chart can be used to determine which recruitment sources yielded the greatest percentage of new hires who stayed in the organization for at least a year.
  • Effectiveness of Recruitment and Hiring Bonuses - This chart can be used to calculate whether people who received a bonus were more likely to stay than people who did not receive a bonus.
  • Checklist of Effective Recruitment Strategies - This chart can be used to assess how many creative strategies this organization is using now, the extent to which those strategies are working, and whether the organization would like to start using the strategy in the future.
  • Cost Per Hire Worksheet - This worksheet will help you to estimate the real cost of hiring new employees.
  • Training Experiences Satisfaction Survey - This survey focuses specifically on satisfaction with training.
  • Structured Interview Questions - Sample questions for personnel reviews based on the Community Support Skill Standards.
  • Quality Mall Website - Quality Mall is a web site that gathers and disseminates information related to or useful in promoting the quality of life for persons with developmental disabilities. It especially focuses on promising person-centered practices and innovations.

NADSP National Partners

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