This if from the PHI National Blog about a recently released report from Michigan. It is about the need to stabilize the workforce of Direct Support Professionals who work with people with disabilities and the aging population. PHI is a national organization “working to strengthen the direct-care workforce and prepare our nation to care for a growing population of elders and people with disabilities by promoting effective national and state policy solutions.”
From the PHI blog:
REPORT: Better Wages and Benefits Needed to Stabilize Michigan Home Care Workforce
by Matthew Ozga
May 25, 2016
Michigan's inability to retain a "qualified, competent" workforce of direct support professionals (DSP) must be remedied by, among other measures, immediately improving DSPs' wages and benefits, a specially convened workgroup concluded.
The Workgroup on the Direct Support Workforce, convened by the legislature last year to study the stability of the DSP workforce in the face of increased staff vacancies, unanimously recommended that DSPs earn at least two dollars per hour more than the state minimum wage (currently $8.50/hour and rising to $9.25 by 2018).
The average starting wage for Michigan DSPs is just $8.69/hour, and experienced caregivers earn an average of just $9.62, the workgroup reported. Nursing assistants in Michigan, meanwhile, earn an average hourly wage of $13.25.
The Workgroup also said that immediate steps should be taken allowing DSPs to earn paid leave….
Read the full report here…
Direct Support Professionals, in their own words:
“In my home I have six staff and five subs who currently work under me. All of them have been with me for more than a year. Some have been working with developmentally disabled individuals as long as I have (37 years). We are African, African American, Asian, and white. We are young college students, single moms, and middle aged fuddyduddies. And when I asked all of them why they do what they do they simply reply ‘I like it’. This work tends to grab a hold of you. It tends to redevelop who you are. I even know a teacher who after teaching all day comes and work for us.”
"This is an important job, not a starter job or a stepping stone job. The people we serve are important people who play an important role in our society.”