Finding Possibility in a Sea of Challenges:
Building a Quality Direct Support Workforce
Presenter: Kelly Nye-Lengerman, PhD University of Minnesota
The goal of the session will be to equip provider organizations with knowledge and awareness of the organizational models, strategies and tools correlated with higher rates of DSP retention and more successful DSP recruitment.
Who Should Attend:
Targeted participants include all providers serving persons with mental illness and intellectual/developmental disabilities.
Some priority will be given to employment service providers that have received prior federal (ODEP) or state technical assistance in provider transformation through the Employment First Initiative.
A quality Direct Support workforce is a key ingredient to supporting people with disabilities to live their best, most inclusive lives in the community. Now more than ever, almost every industry in health and human services is affected by the Direct Support workforce crisis. The crisis represents more than just a shortage of workers, but it also reflects the many challenges Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and organizations face: wages, benefits, education, certification, professional standards, and budgets. While there is no quick fix to these longstanding issues, there are proven solutions that can assist organizations and state agencies in addressing the crisis. Investment in, and commitment to, building and sustaining a strong Direct Support workforce will pay dividends for the individuals supported.
This session will:
  • Explore the context for the Direct Support workforce crisis;
  • Discuss strategies for developing knowledge, skills, and abilities in Direct Support workers and frontline supervisors;
  • Examine various strategies and interventions for workforce stabilization and growth;
  • Identify key tools and resources for workforce development
  • Present a comprehensive overview of research-informed best practices and evidence-based organizational practices to maximize retention and recruitment of direct service professionals (DSPs).
The DSP workforce is critical to realizing the goals of Employment First and community living, including job developers and job coaches who are an essential link between people with disabilities seeking employment and the employers/business community that can hire them. To achieve the desired outcomes of increased employment for people with disabilities, and ensure high quality employment services, organizations engaged in provider transformation must adopt transformation plans that address DSP workforce stabilization and empowerment.
As noted above, all service providers employing Direct Support Professionals are welcome to register for one of the seminar options below – but seating is limited!
Registration Fee is $30 per person.

Session Offerings:

Thursday March 21, 2019 at OCHN 5505 Corporate Dr, Troy, MI 48098
Click here to register

Friday March 22, 2019 at Lansing Community College West 5708 Cornerstone Dr, Lansing, MI 48917 Click here to register

Refund requests are subject to a $25 processing fee. No refunds will be given after March 11. Substitutions are permitted.