July 10th, 2014

Workforce Transformation

Workforce Transformation:
From Caregivers to Direct Support Professionals

The Direct Support Workers Newsletter: Volume 3, Issue 7

By: Perry Samowitz, New York State Region 3 Leader of
the Centers for Workforce Transformation

The most important staff in any organization are those who work directly with the individuals with
developmental disabilities. They have the greatest impact on the individuals and deserve much
recognition and gratitude for all of their hard work. Most of the direct staff want the best for the
people they support and try to do an excellent job. Yet the message they often receive from many
agencies and the government is that they are direct care workers or caregivers. In New York State,
there is a new initiative to transform the workforce from being caregivers to being a direct support
professional.

A direct support professional empowers individuals to:
1. Live a life that is valued by the person as defined by their personal outcome measures and
not the personal values of the staff,
2. Have more opportunities for desired community involvement,
3. Think and problem solve, helping the person to figure out what he/she wants to do,
4. Learn new skills that increase independence and decrease dependency on staff, and
5. Have increased self-esteem through positive interactions focusing on abilities and not
disabilities.

Click to read more: Direct Support Worker Newsletter – Transformation v.3.i.7