Direct Support Professionals (DSP) are caregivers certified to administer medications, provide individualize support and advocacy for persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
The main role of a DSP is to assist individuals to live a happy, healthy and fulfilled life as defined by the individual. They provide services to children and adults of all ages with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
DSPs help individuals meet personal goals and overcome barriers. They accomplish this by:
- Behavioral development: acting as a role model, demonstrating appropriate behaviors, using specialized techniques to address behavior issues
- Health: administering medication, providing physical therapy
- Personal: eating, bathing, grooming, toileting
- Daily living skills: cooking , shopping, laundry, budgeting, social skills, vocational/job skills
- Record keeping: helping determine individual needs, logging and documenting health status and/or progress
You can often find DSPs working in supported livings arrangements, such as individuals' homes, as well as in group homes. They may also work in educational or employment settings.
A DSP must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Complete a background screening
- Complete training and pass tests