RECOGNIZING THE ROLE OF DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS ACT
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 2, 2020): Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced a bi-partisan bill titled, Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act. This bill directs the Office of Management and Budget to revise the Standard Occupational Classification system to establish a separate code for Direct Support Professionals.
The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is proud to support this legislation as this bill brings the Direct Support Professional workforce issues into a national spotlight. According to the 2018 National Core Indicators Staff Stability Survey Report, turnover rates for Direct Support Professionals are over 50% across the United States and the data in this report only confirms that this issue will not improve unless there are system wide changes.
“If this bill passes, it will have a significant impact on helping to set appropriate reimbursement rates, improving data collection about workforce trends, and demonstrating the invaluable contributions of our direct support professionals,” says Joseph Macbeth, President and CEO of NADSP.
“As the mother of a son who experiences severe disabilities, I know firsthand what a difference Direct Support Professionals can make in the lives of those that they work with,” Senator Hassan said. “Direct Support Professionals not only help with day-to-day tasks, but they also help ensure that people who experience disabilities are fully included in their communities. Their tireless work can make a world of a difference for people who experience disabilities, their families, and their entire communities, and we need more Direct Support Professionals in the workforce who can provide such critical, high-quality care. Our bipartisan legislation will help address this workforce shortage, and I will continue working across the aisle to ensure that people with disabilities have the support that they need to thrive.”
A Standard Occupational Classification category for Direct Support Professionals will:
Provide states and the federal government with more accurate information about the workforce trends for Direct Support Professionals to help identify workforce shortage areas and report accurate turnover rates.
Help identify where to implement targeted workforce training programs for Direct Support Professionals so that trained workers can meet local workforce needs.
Recognize the unique role that Direct Support Professionals play in supporting people with disabilities and raise awareness of critical workforce needs.
Almost two years ago, the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals led a coalition of organizations to create a Change.org Petition for designating a Standard Occupational Classification category for Direct Support Professionals. The petition remains live and has reached tens of thousands of individuals.
The vision of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is a world with a highly qualified and professional direct support workforce that partners with, supports, and empowers people with disabilities to lead a life of their choosing. NADSP works to elevate the status of direct support professionals by improving practice standards, promoting system reform, and advancing their knowledge, skills and values, through certification, credentialing, training, professional development, and accreditation services.