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What A Direct Support Professional Does

Direct Support Professionals are tasked with one of the most important jobs imaginable - supporting another person to have a full and inclusive life in his/her community while ensuring health & safety; working towards growth, development, and skills acquisition; supporting independence, opportunities, choice, and self determination; and always approaching their work with an eye on protection and advocacy.

Below is just a small list of some of the things a DSP does - this list is not all inclusive because everyday in the world of a DSP their jobs take them to new and unknown places and situations.


Fully responsible for a ID/DD person's well being up to 24 hours a day
Do physical transfers for non-ambulatory clients
Teach cooking skills to increase independence
Teach nutrition and shopping skills to increase independence and promote health
Coordinate, attend, and monitor health services, supervise medications, and physicians' orders
Coordinate, attend and monitor services from all medical and mental health professionals
Teach skills to be able to get around and socialize in the community
Teach skills to be able to access community services, banking, food etc.
Teach skills to independently manage daily activities & pursue personal goals
Create an environment where people are healthy, safe, and exercise personal choice
Teach effective communication skills
Develop & implement  mental health service plans & positive behavior support interventions to deal with assault and behavior challenges
Advocate on behalf of the person & teach skills to advocate for self
Coordinate & Monitor family visits
Teach money management and budgeting skills
Managing SSI and income services