Direct Support Professional Recognition Week

by David Bucciferro, Senior Advisor, Foothold Technology
September 14, 2017

Across the country, different states, politicians, and associations are celebrating and declaring this week as Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Week. We think that’s awesome. We join the chorus of voices celebrating the important work of DSPs, and we’re sharing a few ways some of our partners are celebrating. No matter what you do this week, we recommend you hug and thank a DSP!

At the national level, Foothold Technology partner, ANCOR is showing its support for DSP Week by highlighting its DSP Toolkit along with its “Cost of Compassion” video, and hosting a “DSPs Unplugged” webinar that features some amazing DSPs sharing how we can collectively support the DSP workforce. You can learn more at this link.

In Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf signed Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources (PAR)’s Gubernatorial Proclamation in support of DSP Week. This spring, as part of I/DD Awareness Month, PAR launched the Fix the DSP Crisis campaign as part of its advocacy efforts. At its conference in October, PAR will award four DSPs (one from each region of Pennsylvania) the Direct Support Professional of the Year awards ceremony. Foothold staff will be attending the conference and we’re excited to celebrate the important work of the DSPs!

In New Jersey, our partner the Alliance for the Betterment of Citizens with Disabilities (ABCD) is recognizing Governor Chris Christie’s proclamation that honored the more than 30,000 DSPs in New Jersey who are providing exemplary and critical support and services to the hundreds of thousands of New Jersey children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

On September 8th, the Governor of New York State signed a proclamation declaring the week of September 10-17th, 2017 Direct Support Professionals Week. This is in recognition of all the individuals in community support programs serving more than 130,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in New York State. Acting Commissioner Kerry Delaney affirmed these professionals as being the “heart and soul of our service delivery system,” and went on to say that “there is not a nobler pursuit, nor a higher calling than dedicating oneself to bettering the lives of others.”

Also in New York, NYSRA and NYSACRA are celebrating with Governor Cuomo’s DSP Week proclamation. Additionally, the #bFair2DirectCare Coalition is highlighting their social media campaign to share the work of and thank the people who support New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Coalition issued a press release in support of the fight for a living wage.

We’d like to echo the sentiments voiced around the country, and extend them to all direct care and direct support staff across the nation who provide services to those in need. So often we look at the accomplishments of programs and service models and forget to acknowledge that what makes a community support program successful is the devotion of support professionals and their unending dedication to improving the lives of those they serve. We join our customers and our partners in thanking each and every DSP for his or her dedication and hard work, and ask that the next time you see one of these dedicated individuals you also extend your gratitude!

About Foothold Technology
Foothold Technology, an electronic record, EHR vendor and human services software provider, offers web-based software for human service providers that eases the burden of documentation, providing agencies with the freedom to focus on their Mission. More than 1,000 agencies nationwide count on Foothold’s AWARDS software to manage their services, including Mental Health, Alcohol & Substance Abuse, Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities, Homeless & Housing, Employment & Training, Seniors, Veterans, Youth & Family, and more. Having originated from three agencies in 2000, AWARDS is a complete electronic record and EHR software for human service providers that also supports administrative activities, including facilities maintenance, human resources, scheduling and alerts, audit reports, and automated billing. AWARDS offers full interoperability with any other federally certified system for participation in Health Information Exchanges (HIE) and Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs). It is also the only record-keeping system that is certified as both a Behavioral Health EHR software system and an HMIS software package (Homeless Management Information System). With roots and origins in human services, no software vendor is better prepared to support you than Foothold Technology. For more information, visit