Possibility Unleashed: The 2023 ANCOR Annual Conference

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Recruitment & Retention

People with disabilities thrive when they have access to high-quality services in the community. High-quality services demand that we attract and retain qualified direct support professionals.

About This Priority

For more than 20 years, significant numbers of community provider organizations have reported substantial difficulties in recruiting and retaining direct support professionals (DSPs)—the professionals on the frontlines delivering services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Although the situation varies significantly by state, National Core Indicators (NCI) found that in 2020, turnover rates among DSPs were 43.8%. NCI also found that 8.1% of full-time direct support positions and 12.4% of part-time direct support positions were vacant as of the end of 2020.

Given this dire situation, ANCOR is committed to supporting efforts that strengthen the ability of providers to recruit and retain DSPs. Of course, investing in Medicaid to improve reimbursement rates and, in turn, wages, is the most important priority. But in the absence of political will to invest in valuable community programs, a suite of other initiatives is crucial. DSP recognition programs, career pathways, improved benefits packages, enhanced professional development opportunities, and other strategies will all be critical to putting our workforce on more solid ground.

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