National Alliance for Direct Service Professionals 

All Crossroads employees are registered members, or seeking registration, with the NADSP in efforts to publicly represent a population that values their continuing education and strives to be recognized as professional workforce.

The purpose of participating in a nationally accredited program like NADSP is, “to enhance the quality of support provided to people with disabilities through the provisions of products, services, and certifications which elevate the status of direct support workers, improve practice standards, promote systems reform and most importantly, advance the knowledge, skill and values of direct support workers.” –NADSP, MacBeth and Burnett, published Jan.2017

NADSP mission
What NADSP does:

NADSP is working on "building and promoting an adequate, well qualified, and competent direct service workforce has proven to be a particularly challenging task. Providing recognition for continuing education and training as an allowable Medicaid service expense supports states' efforts to develop direct service worker qualifications and continuing education and training requirements. This is an important step in developing a quality direct service workforce (DSW) that is prepared to meet the growing demand."

Steps to success  

1. CORRECT LOW WAGES- On average wages paid to Direct Service Professionals are comparable to those paid for entry-level, low-wage positions in nearly all service industries. Insufficient wages affect workforce retention and the quality of support provided. Wages need to be increased. This, combined with other work related stressors, lead to DSP turnover that results in ineffective and inconsistent support for people with IDD. 

NADSP recommends paying a living wage that exceeds the poverty thresholds and minimum wage comparisons.

2. EXPAND TRAINING, CAREER PATHS AND CREDENTIALING OPPORTUNITIES- The workforce must have the knowledge, skills, and ethical compass to perform a wide array of tasks that support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities be healthy, safe, valued and participating members of their communities. It is important that DSP's receive sufficient, high-quality training and opportunities for paid professional development on an ongoing basis.

NADSP recommends following the Home and Community-Based Waiver Service settings rules (2014), to assist states in providing all Direct Service Professionals advancing their training on supporting and understanding the process of Informed Decision Making. 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HCBW SETTINGS RULES 

3. ADHERE TO A CODE OF ETHICS- While other professional groups (such as doctors, nurses, service coordinators, and social workers) are directed by a clearly defined criteria, the DSP is directed by the person they support. Therefore, the DSP must exemplify ethical practice, high standards, and creative vision as they partner with those they support in order to engage community and make everyday choices about their personal finances, physical well-being, social and intimate relationships, and employment. The entire landscape of a person's life can change through ethical and intentional direct support services. 

NADSP recommends adopting a universal Code of Ethics for the Direct Service Workforce.

NADSP Code of Ethics contains the following statement areas:

  • Person-Centered Supports

  • Promoting Physical and Emotional Well-Being

  • Integrity and Responsibility

  • Confidentiallity

  • Justice, Fairness and Equity

  • Respect

  • Relationships

  • Self-Determination

  • Advocacy

NADSP Competency Areas include the following general domains:

  • Participant Empowerment

  • Communication

  • Assessment

  • Community and Service Networking

  • Facilitation of Services

  • Community Living Skills & Supports

  • Education, Training & Self-Development

  • Advocacy

  • Vocational, Educational & Career Support

  • Crisis Prevention and Intervention

  • Organizational Participation

  • Documentation

  • Building and Maintaining friendships and Relationships

  • Provide Person Centered Supports

  • Supporting Health and Wellness

  • Integrity and Responsibility

  • Confidentiallity

  • Justice, Fairness and Equity

  • Respect

  • Relationships

  • Self-Determination

  • Advocacy

NADSP Frontline Supervisor Competency Areas include the following general domains:

  • Direct Support

  • Health, Wellness and Safety

  • Support Plan Development, Monitoring and assessment

  • Facilitating community inclusion across the lifespan

  • Promoting professional relations and teamwork

  • Staff recruitment, selection and hiring

  • Staff supervision, training and development

  • Service management and quality assurance

  • Advocacy and public relations

  • Leadership, professionalism and self-development

  • Cultural awareness and responsiveness.

NADSP recommends paying a living wage that exceed the povery thresholds and minimum wage comparisons.

NADSP recommends following the Home and Community-Based Waiver Service settings rules (2014), to assist states in providing all Direct Service Professionals advancing their training on supporting and understanding the process of Informed Decision Making. 

NADSP recommends adopting a universal Code of Ethics for the Direct Service Workforce.

NADSP recommends adopting the universal and national validated set of competency areas for the Direct Support Workforce.

NADSP Recommends ensuring that direct support professional training be based on sound research and embeds the Code of Ethics and nationally validated direct support professional competency areas.

NADSP Recommends providing dates with a framework for career advancements through certifications and credentialing for direct support professionals.

NADSP Recommends providing frontline supervisors with training on national competency areas.

NADSP Recommends providing technical assistance to service provider organizations to develop DSP-Centric organizations.

To learn more about NADSP and their guiding principles 

Risks a DSP will face

"If the charge to address the workforce crisis is not acted upon, the entire disability service system is at risk of going back to days of institutionalization, segregation, and stigmatization, turning the clock back on decades of advocacy and disregarding the voice of people with developmental disabilities across the country. 

NADSP Recommendations for better workforce
How to register as an nadsp:

Registering as an accredited NADSP is simple and we assist our employees every step of the way.

Employees need to complete the following items:

  • Submit Application

  • Read and Sign the NADSP Code of Ethics.

  • Submit a typed one page essay that addresses the reasons they chose this as their profession, the difficulties, the success they have had, and how they plan on developing their skills and continuing their education to provide the best support they can.

[The essay should be no more than 1 page 12 pt Font and signed at the bottom.] 

To learn more about becoming NADSP Level I or Level II Certified 

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