CSCL employee, Arlene Hebig, is on the Direct Support Professional Advisory Council, a new initiative by the NADSP, which had its introductory meeting in August.

“We met with Joe McBeth and the leadership team from NADSP who gave background history of the organization and shared their vision of what the Direct Support Advisory Council would look like.

The council comprises of 15 front line men and women from across the United States and Canada who work in a variety of settings such as residential group homes, home share, community inclusion programs and employment support such as job coaches. The council’s role will be to identify key issues of concern for people working as direct support professionals and how that meshes public policy and possible system reform. The focus will be working with the NADSP to elevate the profile of direct support professionals.

The NADSP reports that there are approximately 1.4 million people working in the field of direct support! With those numbers, we have the ability to raise awareness of the skilled work we do! The pandemic has emphasized the dedication of DSPs working under challenging circumstances to minimize the disruption to the lives of the individuals they support. For many working in this field, it is not only a job, but a passion. Direct Support Professionals are deserving of recognition for their unique skill sets, education and experience.

As I reflected back after the meeting, I was excited about the opportunity to collaborate with this group. It was clear to me that CSCL has worked hard to offer opportunities for growth for its DSPs. So I look forward to sharing “how we do it” but also know that there will ideas that I can bring back and share.”