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Direct Support Professionals Staffing Shortages

It’s no surprise to anyone immersed in the healthcare world that there’s been an extreme shortage of direct support professionals (DSPs) the last few years. DSPs are anyone that works closely with individuals who need extra care, whether in a facility, or in a person’s home. While this position is of extreme importance, it rarely gets the recognition it deserves from the state and government lawmakers. DSPs are given low wages that are hardly sufficient to live off of, while being given the important task of caring for another human being and ensuring their needs are met with dignity and precision. As someone who receives care in this capacity, I can tell you with certainty that it’s getting nearly impossible to recruit a solid team of viable candidates. This has become the reality for several reasons:

  •  More jobs are available with higher wages and less responsibility.
  • Little benefits or upward movement— to be employed as a DSP is often viewed as temporary.
  • There isn’t an infrastructure in place to support care professionals as well as their clients— the job is rarely acknowledged in the public sphere for its importance and nobility.

 Until the lawmakers and elected officials start putting in time and money into rebuilding the system to better serve DSPs and their recipients, the outlook is grim. As someone on the receiving end of a failing system, I can’t express enough to you all how the system needs to be rebuilt now. If you’d like to learn more about statistics and other data pertaining to this issue, check out this article. Nothing can change unless we all take part in educating ourselves on how we can get the word out and help! 

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