DDS Workforce Data Collection

*** The 2022 DSP Workforce Survey Data Collection Has Closed. ***

Gathering Data on the Direct Support Professional (DSP) Workforce

California collected data from agencies that employed Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) about factors that impacted the workforce. There was an $8,000 incentive payment for agencies that completed the survey. The DSP workforce is experiencing challenges such as high turnover and vacancy rates, which can affect the lives of individuals needing support. Stakeholders have expressed support for learning more about the employment of DSPs to inform policy changes, designing recruitment and retention efforts, and examining the impact of rate increases over time. The data collection effort will establish baseline information from which DDS, agencies and stakeholders may assess challenges, evaluate the impact of existing initiatives and shape future policies to improve workforce stability.

Preliminary Data

The DSP Workforce Survey data collection period has ended. The Department appreciates the participation of all vendors who took part in this important effort. Preliminary data analysis shows over 42% statewide response rate. The Department will post aggregate data as it becomes available.

What

Agencies that employed DSPs received an email invitation to participate in DDS’s data collection effort and provide quantitative information about factors impacting this workforce during the 2021 calendar year. For the purpose of this data collection, DSPs are defined as paid staff whose primary job responsibility was to provide support, help with skills development, guidance, or personal assistance to individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD).

Why

The DSP workforce is low-wage and experiences increasingly high turnover yet is a primary workforce delivering services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Multiple stakeholders have expressed support for learning more about the employment of DSPs to inform policy changes, design recruitment and retention efforts, and examine the impact of rate increases over time. The data collected through this effort will establish baseline information from which DDS, agencies, and stakeholders may evaluate the impact of these initiatives. Providers also may use this information to improve their competitiveness and operations.

Who

All agencies that employed DSPs were requested to participate. There was an $8,000 incentive payment for agencies that completed the survey. The comprehensiveness and quality of this baseline data is exponentially improved when more agencies participated. This voluntary data collection was completed by agencies that employed DSPs in residential, in home and/or non-residential programs. It was recommended that the individual(s) at the agency responsible for payroll or human resources complete the data reporting process. The completed data collection instrument was submitted only one time per agency.

DDS identified agencies likely to be eligible to participate based on their service code. Please refer to the “Frequently Asked Questions” for the list of service codes preliminarily identified as employing DSPs as defined by the data collection instrument. Agencies with these service codes were sent an email invitation to participate in the data collection. Other agencies not listed in FAQ may have been eligible to participate in the survey if they employed DSPs, as defined by the document.

When

Agencies that employed DSPs received an email invitation from Human Services Research Institute (HSRI) beginning in May 2022. Data collection was completed on June 30, 2022. Now that the data collection process has closed, HSRI and DDS will complete data analysis with the goal of publishing initial data results in late 2022.

More Details

Participating agencies will be able to compare their individual agency responses with other de-identified agencies employing DSPs, including those in the same geographic region or providing the same types of service(s). Agencies that participated in the 2022 DSP Workforce Data Collection effort, will be part of the collective data establishing baseline information from which DDS, agencies, and stakeholders may inform policy changes, design recruitment and retention efforts, and examine the impact of rate increases and workforce investments over time.

More Details

For questions about the data collection initiative, please email DSPworkforce@dds.ca.gov.


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Last modified: July 14, 2022