Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) are leading the Senate in recognizing the dedication of the direct support professional workforce with a resolution commemorating September 12-18 as Direct Support Professionals Week. The resolution recognizes the dedication and vital role of direct support professionals (DSPs) in enhancing the lives of individuals with chronic illness, seniors, and those living with a disability. Senator Angus King (I-ME) is a co-sponsor of the resolution.
“Every day, direct support professionals work hard to provide those in need with critical support that leads to more independent living and a better quality of life,” said Senator Collins. “Our bipartisan resolution ensures that these professionals receive the recognition they deserve. I thank all direct support professionals for making such an incredible difference in the lives of so many seniors and those living with a disability.”
“At such a challenging time for health care across this country, we are fortunate to have millions of dedicated workers who are there to help patients with their activities of daily living,” said Senator Cardin. “We honor the women and men who make a difference in the lives of so many others and encourage other professionals to enter this critical field. We must ensure these hard-working individuals have the income and support they need and deserve.”
The coronavirus pandemic has created new challenges for ensuring the health and safety of older adults and individuals with disabilities. The Senate appreciates the contributions of DSPs in supporting these individuals and their families nationwide. Direct support professionals are dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable individuals with complex health conditions and work to help them participate in their communities to the fullest extent possible. The Senate resolution “commends direct support professionals for being integral to the provision of long-term support and services for individuals with disabilities.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of direct support professionals is projected to grow by an average of 33 percent from 2020 to 2030, compared to an 8 percent average growth rate for all occupations during that period.
In addition to Senators Cardin, Collins, and King, the resolution is co-sponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jackie Rosen (D-NV), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Click HERE to read the resolution text.