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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Connections - 03.30.20

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If you are a service provider like us, being faced with an unprecedented national health crisis means we are shining a huge spotlight on our systems, policies and infrastructure. Just how equipped are we to weather this storm? Are we as nimble as we hoped? Are we as stable? Where do we face the greatest threats to our client’s safety?

While we can’t predict the future, we — like many of you — are trusting in our unique strengths and key partnerships to help us aggressively manage crises. This is an extremely dynamic situation, but our mission remains the same, and the safety of those we serve and employ has never been more important.

So far, we’ve discovered that while many service industries are facing closures and layoffs, our ability to safely protect and provide high-quality care for our individuals is a job that won’t stop.

Staff capacity and stability are critical. However, even with the influx of hourly employees looking for work, we can’t deny that school closures and a general sense of fear continue to threaten the direct support workforce.

GoodLife’s approach to recruiting is shifting a bit right now to better leverage existing employees and friends as a key referral source. We are also reminding applicants that our agency-wide strategy to keep clients safe means keeping employees safe, too. Combined with our unique labor strategies, GoodLife homes are small and staffed with the fewest number of different people involved in care, thereby reducing exposure and hopefully stopping the spread of infectious disease.

GoodLife is also relying heavily on the strength of iLink — our remote support infrastructure — to ensure health, behavioral, case management, and the social needs of clients and staff are met while we distance and isolate as much as we can. The value of remote care has never been more clear, and iLink uniquely goes beyond software to offer a comprehensive approach to care that safely delivers the right help, at the right time, in the right place.

We can’t deny that this is an uncertain time when so much is unknown. Strong partnerships will be vital as we weather this storm and work to restore our communities. We are here for you. We encourage you to lean on your own strengths and consider us a partner. When you want to go far, let’s go together.

Authored by staff writers at GoodLife Innovations. For more information contact [email protected] and visit our website at www.mygoodlife.org.