DDS Workforce Data Collection

Gathering Data on the Direct Support Professional (DSP) Workforce

California collects data from agencies that employ Direct Service Professionals (DSPs) about factors that impact the workforce. There is an incentive payment for agencies that complete the survey in its entirety. The DSP workforce is experiencing challenges such as high turnover and vacancy rates, which can affect the lives of individuals needing support. Our community has expressed support for learning more about the employment of DSPs to inform policy changes, designing recruitment and retention efforts, and examining the impact of rate increases over time. The data collection effort will establish baseline information from which DDS, agencies and stakeholders may assess challenges, evaluate the impact of existing initiatives and shape future policies to improve workforce stability.


Agencies that employ DSPs are invited to participate in DDS’s annual data collection effort to provide quantitative information about factors impacting the workforce during the previous calendar year.


The DSP workforce is low-wage and experiences increasingly high turnover yet is a primary workforce delivering services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The data collection will inform policy changes, design recruitment and retention efforts and examine the impact of rate increases over time.


All agencies that employ DSPs are eligible to participate. The survey collects data on tenure, turnover, vacancy rates and more therefore it is recommended that the individual(s) at the agency responsible for payroll or human resources complete the survey. The completed data collection instrument was submitted only one time per agency organization.

For the purpose of this data collection, DSPs are defined as paid staff whose primary job responsibility was to provide support, help with skills development, guidance, or personal assistance to individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD). Please refer to the “Frequently Asked Questions” for the list of service codes preliminarily identified as employing DSPs.


Data collection for 2024 (to collect data for 2023) will begin in Spring 2024.

Preliminary Data

The 2021 DSP Workforce Survey data collection period has ended. The Department appreciates the participation of all vendors who took part in this important effort. Preliminary data analysis shows over 42% statewide response rate. The Department will post aggregate data as it becomes available.

Participating agencies will be able to compare their individual agency responses with other de-identified agencies employing DSPs, including those in the same geographic region or providing the same types of service(s). Agencies that participated in the 2021 DSP Workforce Data Collection effort, will be part of the collective data establishing baseline information from which DDS, agencies, and stakeholders may inform policy changes, design recruitment and retention efforts, and examine the impact of rate increases and workforce investments over time.

More Details

This toolkit contains information, resources, and tools that can be used to promote vendor participation in the DSP Workforce Survey. We encourage you to use and share these resources.


Informational Webinar

Frequently Asked Questions


Last modified: April 16, 2024