Establish a Direct Support Professional Standard Occupational Classification

Reasons for signing

See why other supporters are signing, why this petition is important to them, and share your reason for signing (this will mean a lot to the starter of the petition).

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Cassandra Edson
Mar 2, 2021
Direct Support Professional are multi-skilled, essential, and deserve respect.

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Amanda Calder
Mar 1, 2021
I am a DSP. I value my clients, my coworkers, and the work we do together. We need to be counted, we need to be seen, and we need the support in terms of funding, benefits, training, and community that will allow us to best serve our clients and communities. Every occupation, especially one in which so many of us work, deserves to have an SOC so we can be counted and seen and the contributions and challenges of our work addressed on a society-wide level. Let’s do this!

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Lorenzo Greene
Dec 13, 2020
I have worked in this field for a good 6 years now. My life's work has been geared towards helping people in the IDD community, but it has never been a lucrative endeavor financially. When you're guiding and caring for clients, one must require social skills- negotiating, motivating, and redirecting behaviors. One must apply psychological knowledge to facilitate care effectively (I have a B.s in psychology). One must have medical knowledge, as we pass medications on top of monitoring our clients' health. I myself have been responsible on multiple occassions for noticing signs and symptoms before they became life threatening. We drive our clients to appointments, family gatherings, and necessary community functions (thus maintaining a clean driving record). We must learn lifting and restraint techniques necessary for certain clients who have mobility and more advanced behavioral needs. We must been adequate chefs and, at the very least, "armchair dieticians". We are responsible for portioning out meals and assuring the correcting consistency of diets. We are responsible for so very much regarding the care of these people. On top of all of this, we must maintain cleanliness and tidyness of our group home facilities. The homes must be staffed at all times, so many of us end up working long hours; even to our detriment. I have personally worked 160 hours in a two week period and recently, I worked 75 hours in 4 days' time.

This is a labor of love. One must be compassionate, professional, and contain consummate medical, psychological, and dietary knowledge. I'm sure that I've left so very much out. $10.78 as an average is abyssmal. 25% of all the money printed in the United States was printed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Inflation is creeping up on us, and wages must not stagnate; especially for individuals working in healthcare. And yes, this is the healthcare field. We do not simply, "hang out" with clients.

Oh, I almost forgot. We also manage the finances of our clients, maintain the wishes of guardians, and assure all necessary legal paperwork is filed. Direct care workers are not just living their own lives- we are, in a strikingly real manner, living the lives of the individuals we care for. I love my clients and I love my work. However, people like me are going to be hard to come by if wages stagnate. I know my worth, and I have many talents. I choose to work as a direct support professional. I choose to care. I don't choose these wages. This is not a job. This is a way of life, caring for individuals who often cannot effectively advocate for or care for themselves.

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Casey W
Dec 5, 2020
I work in the field and know the worth of the staff and the people they support.

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Craig Shields
Nov 21, 2020
These people do an extremely difficult job that most cant and won't do. They should be fairly compensated not making less than a fast food worker, or cashier at Walmart. Its ridiculous

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Christopher Myers
Nov 20, 2020
I've worked in this field. It does NOT pay enough for the work & resources required. Pay should be more akin to at least what a school teacher makes IMO!

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Crystal Werthwine
Nov 20, 2020
I'm signing because I'm a DSP. I love my job, but it can also be extremely hard. I can't even take care of my family on the low wages I make.

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Andrew Rosen
Oct 29, 2020
I know what how critical and specific the job duties of a DSP are. A DSP should definitely have its own Standard Occupational Code.

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Karmel Der
Jul 17, 2020
I want the DSP'S to get paid more and get updates for their work to better themselves in the jobs that they have and to help the disabled people to get what they need in life

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CHERYL SMITH
Jun 5, 2020
It sounds like a worthwhile cause.