DSP Crisis

Watch PAR’s 2017 Fix The DSP Crisis video 

 

Issue

Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) provide hands-on daily supports and services to people with intellectual disability or autism. The Intellectual Disability and Autism (ID/A) system in Pennsylvania is currently in a DSP Workforce Crisis marked by high turnover and high vacancy rates, with over 13,000 positions turning over every year and 6,000 positions vacant.

Low wages force many DSPs to work multiple jobs, long hours of overtime, or find jobs elsewhere in warehouses, grocery stores, and restaurants in order to support their families.

Individuals with ID/A depend on DSPs to live an Everyday Life, with everything from medication administration to job coaching, getting out into the community, providing medical support, and physical therapy. Every time a DSP is forced to leave their job, a critical relationship with an individual is broken.

ID/A services are 100% funded by government, with half of the funding coming from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania which is then match approximately dollar for dollar by the Federal Medicaid Match. Fiscal Year 2017/2018 was the first time in 10 years that providers of ID/A services received a rate increase, thanks to PAR’s advocacy and advocacy across the state.

PAR Position

PAR’s top advocacy priority is to Fix The DSP Crisis. To do this, we need to ensure that rates for ID/A services are increased adequately to allow providers to increase DSP wages to levels that are competitive with other industries, and that allow providers to recruit and retain high quality, dedicated, well-trained DSPs.

Take Action

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