Direct Support Professionals are Not Invisible — They are Essential

Direct Support Professionals are Not Invisible — They are Essential
During this global COVID-19 crisis, we’ve celebrated the front-line workers whose efforts are helping to keep Americans safe. Doctors and nurses; police, fire and EMS workers; mail carriers, public transit and grocery workers.
 
And we should!
 
But one group of essential workers has largely been ignored in these conversations: the Direct Support Professionals whose support of people with disabilities is more important than ever in the face of this pandemic.
 
Instead of hospitals, their front lines are in group homes in communities across America.
 
DSPs are healthcare heroes of the highest order - providing companionship and compassion, ensuring proper hand-hygiene, facilitating distance-learning, coordinating FaceTime calls with families -- and being diligent to socially distance in their off time to minimize risk to those they support.
 
As great as the impact of coronavirus has been on our lives, the loss of daily routines and strict social-distancing rules have had a significant impact on the people we serve: men, women and children living with profound disabilities, who require support in almost every aspect of their lives. As we face some of our greatest challenges yet, there are people who simply would not be able to live life without them.
 
At Bancroft, our DSP workforce is 1,900 strong - and together with nurses, managers and other vital staff, they’ve stepped up to do amazing work. They’re just a fraction of the 34,000 DSPs working in the state of New Jersey - and an even smaller piece of the 4.5 million-person DSP workforce nationally. Every one of them is essential.
 
Their work can be extraordinarily challenging -- that’s true every day, not just in times of crisis - and it takes a special kind of person to work in direct support.
 
It takes a hero.
 
Bancroft is hiring. Learn more at bancroft.org/careers.

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Author: Toni Pergolin, President & CEO, Bancroft

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