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 - 02.11.20

NCI Survey on Direct Support Professional Turnover Now Available

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The newest National Core Indicators (NCI) Staff Stability Survey, with data from 2018, is now available, finding the national average yearly turnover rate for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) is 51.3 percent. This finding is significant, as it shows the workforce crisis affecting this profession is even greater than previously estimated – this crisis is in turn affecting the stability of supports for people with disabilities. The 2018 estimate, based on data submitted by 26 states, also looks at staff tenure, benefits and wages. Because little DSP-specific data exists at the national level, the NCI Staff Stability Survey is a critical educational and advocacy resource for stakeholders seeking to ensure that people with disabilities have the supports they need to thrive in the community.

DSPs are frontline staff who support people with disabilities with a broad range of services, which are highly tailored to the needs of the individuals. This includes assistance with finding jobs or other such goals to support independent living, developing social skills, getting groceries, communicating with medical teams, and daily life activities such as getting dressed. Supports offered by DSPs are mostly covered by Medicaid, which funds the majority of disability supports in the United States.

Learn more about ANCOR’s 2020 policy efforts to strengthen this workforce.