The State of America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis 2022

The longstanding direct support workforce crisis, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to closures of critically needed services and a denial of access to community-based supports.
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Capitol Correspondence - 10.05.21

ANCOR Issues Findings from 2021 State of America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis Survey

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Last week ANCOR published its findings from the 2021 State of America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis Survey in the form of a brief summarizing the findings.  

The State of America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis 2021 summarizes the findings of ANCOR’s survey of providers, which we fielded for a five-week period beginning in August 2021. The survey, which followed up on our 2020 research, garnered 449 responses and sought to understand the human and financial impact of the direct support workforce crisis. The survey measured the same dimensions we asked about in 2020, along with additional measures targeted specifically to the impact of COVID-19 on DSP hiring and retention. 

Key findings from ANCOR’s 2021 State of America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis survey include that: 

  • 77% of providers are turning away new referrals, a 16.7% increase since the beginning of the pandemic. 

  • 58% of providers are discontinuing programs and services, a 70.6% increase since the beginning of the pandemic. 

  • 81% of providers are struggling to achieve quality standards, a 17.4% increase since the beginning of the pandemic.  

  • Nearly 3 in 10 providers report spending at least $500,000 annually on costs associated with high turnover and vacancy rates. 

  • 92% of providers report that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to complicate their ability to recruit and retain qualified direct support professionals.