Gathering Data on the Direct Support Professional (DSP) Workforce
California is collecting data from agencies that employ Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) about factors that impact the workforce. The 2023 DSP Workforce Survey will open for data collection in Spring of 2023. 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. Stakeholders have 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 will be invited to participate in DDS’s data collection effort and provide quantitative information about factors impacting the workforce during the calendar year. 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). To receive further clarification on the definition of a DSP, please see the linked down below.
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.
Please refer to the “Frequently Asked Questions” for the list of service codes preliminarily identified as employing DSPs as defined by the data collection instrument.
Email invitations will come from Human Services Research Institute (HSRI) beginning in Spring 2023 for all vendors who participated in the 2022 DSP Workforce Survey. Data collection closes on June 30, 2023. Once the data collection process has closed HSRI and DDS will complete data analysis with the goal of publishing data results in late 2023.
The 2022 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 2022 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.
For questions about the data collection initiative, please email DSPworkforce@dds.ca.gov.
Last modified: February 6, 2023