Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) introduced a resolution recognizing the incredible work and dedication of direct support professionals. The resolution, which was cosponsored by a total of 15 Senators, including Senator Angus King (I-ME), designates the week of September 9-15 in celebration of the daily contributions made by those who provide invaluable health services to the chronically ill, seniors and those living with a disability. With the help of direct support professionals, these individuals can perform daily activities that many people take for granted, such as eating, bathing, dressing, and leaving the house. Direct support professionals are dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable individuals with complex health conditions, helping them participate in their communities to the fullest extent possible.
“Direct support professionals play an essential role in our communities by providing those in need with critical support that leads to more independent living and a better quality of life,” said Senator Collins, the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee. “Our bipartisan resolution ensures that these professionals receive the recognition they deserve. I thank all direct support professionals for their hard work and dedication.”
“We are incredibly fortunate to have millions of service-oriented individuals who are willing to rise to the task of becoming a direct support professional,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Health Care Subcommittee. “Unfortunately, the job of a direct support professional is not easy. It can be physically laborious, as well as emotionally draining. It is imperative that we work to ensure that these hard-working individuals have the income and emotional support they need and deserve.”
The resolution was also cosponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ed Markey (D-Mass), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.).
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of direct support professionals is projected to grow by an average of 26 percent from 2014 to 2024, compared to a 7 percent average growth rate for all occupations during that period.