A Synthesis Of DSP Demographics And Challenges

Across intellectual/developmental disabilities, aging, physical disabilities, and behavioral health

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of direct service workforce challenges and practices across four sectors: intellectual and developmental disabilities, aging, physical disabilities and behavioral health. While much has been written and studied within sectors about the workforce challenges and solutions, this paper provides a synthesis of the similarities and differences of the workforce challenges and solutions across the sectors. Drawing on the literature, activities and outcomes of the Direct Service Workforce Resource Center since its inception in 2005, the paper identifies the complexities of the service sectors with respect to the workforce that provides hands-on services and supports to people who are aging, have disabilities, or experience substance abuse issues.