Core Competencies Address Changing Role of DSPs

New York State has adopted the Core Competencies and the Code of Ethics to address the changing roles of direct support professionals (DSPs).

An Emphasis on Person-Centeredness and Ethics

The culture of providing support and services for people with developmental disabilities is evolving. It is becoming more person-centered with a strong emphasis on personal choice.

Today, almost 140,000 people with developmental disabilities are living in home communities throughout New York. This is a major contrast to just 40 years ago. Most people with developmental disabilities were confined to large institutions. The work of DSPs makes it possible to people with disabilities to live in home communities.

Over the past four decades, support for people with development disabilities has improved. The hard work and dedication of many, including people with disabilities, family members, advocates, and policy makers, has played a major role.

In addition to person-centeredness, a greater emphasis is being placed on the ethical practices of DSPs. More emphasis is also being placed on the need for DSPs to demonstrate high levels of competence.

Today, DSPs have diverse and complex tasks that are geared toward supporting the person, not just taking care of them. That is a major shift from DSP roles in the past. In the past, DSPs may have been more focused on doing things for people or just keeping order and security. We have now shifted from away from this caregiver role.

Core Competencies and Code of Ethics

These changing roles led the NYS Talent Development Consortium, a large group of stakeholders, to create the Core Competencies. The Core Competencies combine the technical skills and value-based skills needed to assist people with disabilities to make their own decisions, and live and work in their community. In 2014, the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) adopted the Core Competencies.

The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) also produced guidelines, the Code of Ethics, to help DSPs resolve daily ethical dilemmas. The Code of Ethics matches the values and expectations of the profession. OPWDD has adopted the Code of Ethics.

For more information on the changing roles and expectations of DSPs, please contact us.

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