South Dakota Community Support Providers Propose DSP Credentialing Program

Community Support Providers (CSP) in South Dakota has a long and successful history of providing the best quality services and supports to those with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). This success has been in large part due to the dedication and hard work of frontline Direct Support Professionals (DSP) that make these services possible. The need for supporting our DSPs is even greater today!

Over the last several decades, SD CSP’s have been entrenched in a battle to recruit and retain qualified and high quality, DSPs. Despite the diligent efforts that SD providers have taken in addressing this workforce crisis, the reality of the situation has become even bleaker. In SD alone, the staff turnover rates average close to, or above 50% and attracting quality workers fails on many fronts due to low wages and lack of meaningful career advancement.  This coupled with increasing training needs and technical knowledge required of DSPs, and the situation has compounded to crisis levels. The crisis is also not unique to SD, but extends across the entire US and has quickly become one of the most fundamental challenges facing disability services nationally. If not addressed quickly, services and supports will greatly suffer as a result.

The purpose of the following document is to provide an overall picture of the crisis, both nationally and within SD. Most importantly, it offers a proposal for how the SD State Legislature and the SD Department of Human Services can assist in addressing this critical issue. Central to the proposal, and at the foundation of all quality services and supports, is the DSP. Without their work, people with IDD would not experience the level of independence and inclusion, health, mental health, and vocational opportunities they currently experience. In other words, the DSP is the foundation that the house is built upon. If there are cracks in the foundation the entire home is affected.

It is the recommendation of Community Support Providers of South Dakota (CSP of SD) that the SD State Legislature and the SD Department of Human Services support the development of a robust DSP credentialing program dedicated to the professionalization of the position, improvement of DSP wages, and technical training for DSPs. This proposal is more than a simple request for increased funding; rather it fosters solid partnerships with both regulating entities and lawmakers, and offers a return on investment. With your support, the foundation of quality services will be firmly set for the future of SD’s IDD services!

Click on the link below to view proposal.

DSP Credentialing Proposal


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