The Direct Support Professional provides person centered supports based on the individual's needs, preferences and choices. DSPs perform a wide variety of tasks and activities based on the valued outcomes of each person they work with, and reflecting the specific skills and abilities of each individual. DSPs encourage, guide and offer training to develop daily living skills, ensuring personal needs are met, promoting active engagement in the community life and ensuring health and safety. DSPs create a positive and enriching program environment for all persons supported. Direct Support Professionals are a vital member of each person's support team. DSP's are expected to know, understand and live the Code of Ethics.
Direct Support Professionals work under the supervision of a Supervisor/ Manager/Assistant Manager/Supervisor. DSPs provide an array of supports to individuals with Developmental Disabilities (ID/DD), individuals who have dual diagnosis, and/ or individuals on the autism spectrum. Supports provided may be offered in a residential, day, home or other setting. DSPs assist and support individuals to identify and achieve their personal outcome measures (POMs). DSPs motivate individuals to develop their vocational, nutritional, social and personal skills to achieve the highest possible level of independence. All supports are offered in positive settings, that are the least restrictive possible.
Direct Support Professionals provide observations, evaluations, and reports to other team members to ensure and/or record an individual's progress toward their personal goals, in accordance with their individual support plans. In doing this, they guide, assist and teach individuals to advance their skills to foster an independence based on their needs, preferences and desires.
As a member of the program planning team, Direct Support Professionals communicate with other DSPs, supervisors and/or clinical staff, Individuals, families, employers, community members and others for the purpose of sharing information and obtaining direction. DSP's have a significant role in terms of communication and ensuring important information is exchanged. Communication is expected to be professional, whether in writing or verbally, and must always adhere to the organization's confidentiality policies and procedures.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
Individual Development and Personal Interest
Supports all individuals' developmental needs, desires, preferences and choices in areas such as: POM's, behavioral management support, communication, nutritional well-being, medical care and socialization
Encourages positive interactions with staff, neighbors and encourages community integration through an array of activities based on the individual's choices and preferences.
Supports individuals in work sites, cultural activities, religious and social events, and day programs opportunities.
Supports and advocates at visits to healthcare practitioners; aids in developing awareness and use of community resources and in interacting with others; provides support for maximum community integration.
Supports and provides opportunities to individuals in developing/maintaining positive interpersonal relationships with their peers, their families, people in the community, and provides opportunities to build new friendships to expand the person's circle of supports.
Aids, as needed, in explaining feelings, resolving conflicts, teaching/reinforcing acceptable means of dissipating frustration, and anger.
Advocates for holistic care for individuals, including requests for clinical services.
Advocates and escorts individuals to scheduled appointments, communicating pertinent follow up information.
Provides support in activities surrounding personal care including; including toileting, bathing and eating.
Teaches and reinforces use of a variety of communication methods or use of augmented devices. Provides a positive environment conducive to learning new skills; makes suggestions for further training.
Transports/arranges for transport of individuals as needed.
Assists Individuals in development in or enhancement of mobility skills.
Intervenes when needed to protect individuals.
Provides information, documentation, shares observations and offers insights in the development of individual supports, plans and implementation of chosen POM's.
Documents all services and supports provided to individuals supported based on their Individualized program plan(s) and enter information into computerized system.
Tracks and documents individual's progress on goals.
While actively engaging individuals, DSP's prepares meals, following dietary menus, eating protocols, and serving all meals in a family style manner.
Reviews and initials communication log(s) upon arriving at assigned work site; documents all activities and information in the daily log.
Administers and documents Medication Administration per AMAP training and doctor's orders; teaches, observes, reports problems and progress in self-administration of medication programs; assist individuals in achieving more independence in administration of medications.
Notifies program nurse and manager/supervisor of any changes in medication, individual's condition or any other health related concerns.
Follows all OPWDD and Agency's Policies and Procedures regarding reporting injuries, incidents or other related events.
Notifies manager of any concerns that might arise that effect the individuals, peers or other at the program site(s) immediately. In absence of manager, follows agency/program protocol to notify next appropriate administrator.
Identifies and responds to unexpected, unplanned and emergency situations as they occur; notifies appropriate management and follows the Agencies Policies and Procedures.
Maintaining the Environment
Ensures that the program environment is clean, safe and offers a positive-home like environment. DSP's are expected to report any equipment malfunction, structure concerns or any safety issues.
Observes and follows through on established emergency notification procedures in a manner which ensures the safety and welfare of all individuals at all times.
Ensures a safe environment is maintained at all times.
Conducts and documents fire drills following the Fire Evacuation Plan; reports any system or equipment malfunction to their supervisor.
Maintains all certifications and licensure as required (AMAP, SCIP-R, CPR, First Aid)
Maintains confidentiality of information in accordance with HIPAA regulations and agency Policies and Procedures.
Actively participates in staff meetings, trainings and personal development goals.
Education and/or Experience
High School Diploma or Equivalency Diploma; Preferred Six months work experience with individuals with ID/DD. Willingness to continue to develop personal skills and educational opportunities.
Good written and verbal communication skills; Bi-lingual a plus; ability to learn basic sign language when needed
Certificates, Licenses & Registrations
Must be cleared through a Criminal Background Check and Fingerprinting by Justice Center, MHLS, OCFS; Must acquire and maintain mandatory training as required (AMAP, SCIP, CPR, First Aid); Must possess and maintain a valid NYS Driver's License
Positive attitude towards working with individuals with developmental disabilities (ID/DD) and ability to successfully work in a team environment including with other staff, families, community members. DSP's must be able to demonstrate creativity and flexibility in their daily job activities.
Able to demonstrate skills and support individuals with disabilities; able to assist an individual physically when needed; able to lift and/or assist a person in an emergency
Leake & Watts Services Inc