Direct Support Professional (DSP) Workforce Training and Development

The DSP Workforce Training and Development encompasses trainings and certification programs for DSPs to meet statutory and regulatory requirements as well as departmental priorities. DSPs are an integral part of the California Service Delivery System and DDS is committed to continuously enhance and foster a more sustainable and professional workforce.

The DSP Academy is a new competency-based training and certification program for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) tied to wage differentials. The DSP Academy is designed to have 3 different tiers of enhanced training aimed at promoting services that are person centered, culturally and linguistically sensitive, and that improve outcomes for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

NOTE: The DSP Academy is still in development. If you have any questions regarding the DSP Academy, you can email workforcedevelopment@dds.ca.gov.

 

Background:

Per WIC 4511.5, DSPs are critical to the provision of services and supports to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In recognition of the value of the services provided by DSPs, additional training and development will enhance the services they provide and foster a more sustainable workforce.

Legislative Information:

See WIC below:

Welfare and Institutions Code 4511.5.

(a) The Legislature finds and declares both of the following:

(1) Direct service professionals are critical to the provision of services and supports to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

(2) In recognition of the value of the services provided by direct service professionals, additional training and development will enhance the services they provide and foster a more sustainable workforce.

(b) (1) With input from stakeholders pursuant to subdivision (c), the department shall develop or utilize existing curriculum to implement enhanced direct service professional training that promotes services that are person centered and culturally and linguistically sensitive, and that improve outcomes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

(2) It is the intent of the Legislature to enhance the quality of services that consumers receive from their direct service professionals, including, but not limited to, improving direct service professional knowledge about general health and safety issues, employing principles of self-determination in order to promote dignity of the recipient and the provider, and working to improve quality of services and quality of life, including advancing health equity for consumers of regional center services.

(3) The training described in paragraph (1) in shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following elements:

(A) Competency based.

(B) Tiered training and certification.

(C) Continuing education.

(D) Outcome measures, as defined by the department, with input from stakeholders pursuant to subdivision (c).

(c) (1) The department shall consult with stakeholders throughout the implementation of this section. This consultation shall include facilitation of a process for providing input and comments on implementation.

(2) Stakeholders may include, but are not limited to, the following:

(A) Consumers and families across different geographic regions of the state and from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, diverse consumer age groups and disabilities.

(B) Regional center representatives.

(C) Service providers representing a diverse range of service types and models.

(d) Implementation of this section is subject to an appropriation of funds for this purpose in the annual Budget Act.

DDS recognizes the value of effective communication between DSPs and the consumers and families they serve. In recognition of the value of services provided by DSPs and effective communication, DDS is establishing and implementing a system that promotes equity in access to services for consumers by providing a pay differential to DSPs who can communicate with consumers in a language or medium other than English.

DSPs who are eligible to participate must fill out and submit the Self-Attestation Form (still in development) to workforcedevelopment@dds.ca.gov.

NOTE: The DSP Bilingual Certification Program is still in development. If you have any questions regarding the DSP Academy, you can email workforcedevelopment@dds.ca.gov.

 

Background:

Per WIC 4641.1, the provision of services that are culturally and linguistically responsive to consumers is instrumental to improving access and equity in the developmental services system. In recognition of the value of effective communication between direct service professionals and the consumers and families they serve, the provision of a pay differential for bilingual and multilingual direct service professionals will increase consumer access to staff who speak their preferred language.

Legislative Information:

See WIC below:

Welfare and Institutions Code  4641.1.

(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1) The provision of services that are culturally and linguistically responsive to consumers is instrumental to improving access and equity in the developmental services system.

(2) Direct service professionals are critical to the provision of services and supports to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

(3) In recognition of the value of effective communication between direct service professionals and the consumers and families they serve, the provision of a pay differential for bilingual and multilingual direct service professionals will increase consumer access to staff who speak their preferred language.

(b) The department, subject to an appropriation, shall establish and implement a system that promotes equity in access to services for regional center consumers by providing a pay differential to direct service professionals who can communicate in a language or medium other than English as part of their regular job duties.

(c) Notwithstanding any other law, a direct service professional described in subdivision (b) is eligible for a bilingual or multilingual differential if both of the following conditions are met:

(1) The duties currently assigned to the direct service professional require regular communication in a language or medium other than English with an individual that has a developmental disability, and when appropriate, their families.

(2) The direct service professional passes an examination certifying their ability to communicate in the language or medium other than English.

(3) For the purpose of this section, “medium other than English” includes, but is not limited to, American Sign Language and other sign languages and augmentative and alternative communication.

(d) The department may adopt emergency regulations to implement this section. The adoption, amendment, repeal, or readoption of a regulation authorized by this section is deemed to be necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, or general welfare, for purposes of Sections 11346.1 and 11349.6 of the Government Code. The department is exempted from the requirement that it describe specific facts showing the need for immediate action.

(e) Prior to implementation, the department shall provide a report to the Legislature detailing its plan to implement a wage differential for bilingual and multilingual staff.


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Last modified: April 27, 2022