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DSP Professionals

Direct Support Professional Career Growth

Relias can help you increase DSP engagement and retention by partnering together to offer them meaningful career growth opportunities

A committed and engaged workforce is essential to the quality of care and overall success of your organization. Direct support professionals (DSPs) play a vital role in helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities become integrated and engaged in their communities. However, high rates of DSP turnover end up having a devastating impact on building relationships, trust, and care with persons served.

An effective way to solve DSP turnover is by providing DSPs with career advancement opportunities. According to the 2021 Relias DSP Survey report, 41% of DSPs are more likely to stay at their organization if they are provided strong career advancement opportunities.

To help you provide meaningful career growth opportunities and engage your DSP workforce, Relias has curated resources on DSP career growth tracks, peer mentoring, and how to evolve DSPs into leaders.

Bookmark this page to stay up to date on DSP career growth strategies.

2023 DSP Survey Report

Hear from 763 DSPs across the country on what they want in a career growth program.

Identify DSP Career Development Tracks

After recognizing your organization’s need to foster career growth for your DSPs, you may wonder what career opportunities are even available. Relias has partnered with ANCOR to develop the Certificates of Achievement, featuring a series of 10 professional development plans created just for DSPs. Each certificate focuses on a strategic area identified by Relias and ANCOR to be most impactful for career development and organizational success. The certificate tracks are:

  • Emerging Leader
  • Peer Mentor
  • Community Employment Specialist
  • Safety Specialist
  • Aging Population Specialist
  • Employee Wellness Specialist
  • Customized Self-Employment Specialist
  • Human Resources Professional
  • Behavior Specialist
  • Community Inclusion Specialist

Implement a Peer Mentoring Program

In addition to a lack of career advancement opportunities, limited support from supervisors and colleagues contributes to DSP turnover. Your organization can address both pain points by implementing a peer mentoring program where new DSPs receive guidance and support from high-performing DSPs in your organization. This strategy not only adds an extra rung to the career ladder, but also improves your staff’s skillset and ability to help clients.

Implementing a peer mentoring program takes planning and commitment. Read more about this process below:

Offer Your DSPs Career Growth Opportunities

Give your DSPs the professional development and career growth opportunities they crave. By partnering with Relias, you can create career ladders and succession planning for every role in your organization. The LMS includes professional development courses for DSPs, IDD supervisors, and senior management, covering topics like: 

  • Peer Mentoring 
  • Going from DSP to Supervisor 
  • Leadership and Communication 
  • Teambuilding  
  • Change Management 

Want to see other features of the LMS? Schedule a 1:1 consultation with our training experts to see how the LMS can improve career and professional development at your organization. 

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