The State of America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis 2022
How is “direct support professional” defined?
For purposes of this contest, the term “direct support professional” or “DSP” is defined as someone who works as a direct care worker, in-home support worker, personal assistant or attendant that works directly with people with disabilities to ensure that they have the necessary supports that enable them to live, work and enjoy life more independently in a community-based setting. We believe the term “DSP” should be applied broadly, and may include any direct care staff regardless of formal credentialing or certification. Thought of in this way, a DSP could be a residential support professional, an employment support specialist, a host home provider, an in-home care provider, a house manager or any number of other types of professionals.
I work with a lot of outstanding DSPs. Is there a limit to how many I can nominate?
There is a limit of three nominations per state, per organization. In other words, if XYZ Community Supports operates in Washington and Oregon, XYZ is welcome to nominate up to three DSPs that work in Washington and up to three DSPs that work in Oregon, for a total of six nominations.
Please note that the limit of three per state may include nominations from related corporate entities within a state, such as related companies, chapters, affiliates or work sites, but may only add up to three across all entities. For example, if XYZ Community Supports does business through multiple entities, such as offering residential services through one company/under one name, employment services through another entity and/or using another name or at a different location, and has multiple work sites, each location/entity may not submit up to three on their own. In the event that more than three nominations per state are received from a provider, ANCOR will accept the first three submitted, and not consider the subsequent nominations.
I’m not sure if my organization is a member of ANCOR. Can I still submit a nomination?
Yes! Anyone can submit a nomination; neither the nominator nor the nominee is required to be an ANCOR member. The only requirement for a nominee to be eligible is that they must be employed by an organization that delivers home- and/or community-based supports to people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. The provider organization employing the nominee does NOT need to be an ANCOR member.
Why do I need to submit a photo of my nominee?
Starting with our 2018 DSP of the Year Awards, we have required photos to be submitted with the nomination to ensure that nominees selected to receive an award can be properly featured in Recognizing Excellence, our digital magazine that profiles each of the award recipients. Therefore, we ask that you please ensure that an appropriate, high-resolution photo of the DSP accompanies your nomination.
Why do you tell me not to include the name of the people supported by my nominee in the nomination form?
Provider organizations have obligations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that compel them to ensure that personally identifying health information about people receiving services is kept confidential. If talking about specific people supported by your nominee helps strengthen your nomination, you may do so by using first names only, aliases (indicated by the use of quotation marks; e.g., ‘Maria supported “Ian” to kick his smoking habit’), or initials. Refer to your organization’s HIPAA compliance protocols if you have any questions about what is or is not permitted to be shared.
Why do you tell me not to include the name of my organization in my answers?
We want to ensure that the judging committee is not influenced in reading a nomination by knowing what organization employs the nominee or the nominator. Members of the judging committee include ANCOR staff and members, so excluding your organization name means we can minimize the potential for judges to be influenced by factors that should not weigh into their assessment of the nominations.
When and how will I find out if my nominee has been selected for recognition?
We will notify nominators and the CEOs/executive directors of the organizations that employ DSPs selected to win an award via email in early- to mid-February. We will also notify nominators of DSPs not selected to win an award shortly after the award recipients’ organizations have been notified.