Complexities in Attracting and Retaining Direct Support Professionals




Wolf-Branigin, Michael
Wolf-Branigin, Karen
Israel, Nathaniel

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Recruiting and retaining direct support professionals (DSPs) remains essential to the full inclusion for persons with disabilities. Using a mixed-evaluation model, we measured DSPs’ views versus those of their supervisors. DSPs expressed lower perceptions concerning their supervisors, satisfaction with their work situation, and environmental and safety factors. Focus groups provided insights into resolving issues related to compensation, work environment, and recruiting and retaining future DSPs. Motivating factors included wanting to be part of a helping community where all are valued. To improve their performance, DSPs stated their desire to understand the roles of managers and of the consumer. DSPs indicated that having career paths that provided advancement opportunities and direct contact with persons with disabilities were primary motivators.


Copyright 2007 by The Haworth Press. All rights reserved.


Direct support professionals, Developmental disability, Recruitment and retention, Complex systems, Feedback