Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Christopher Atkinson


Direct support professionals (DSPs) serve an important function in the daily supervision and care of clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) through standardization of technical, cognitive, and ethical competencies for all DSPs. It is not clear, however, how these DSPs and managers perceive the implementation process and utility of these competencies or whether implementation results in meeting the desired outcomes for clients. Using Donabedian's quality of care model as the foundation, the purpose of this qualitative case study in New York State to understand how DSPs perceived the implementation of the DSP core competencies under the direction of front-line managers. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews with 12 DSPs and front-line managers. Data were inductively coded then subject to Braun and Clarke's thematic analysis procedure. Findings revealed that DSPs and front-line managers implemented the core competencies inconsistently because of organizational perceptions and experiences. The implications for social change stemming from this study includes recommendations to the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals to add a practicum component to the core competencies training which may benefit people living in community residential group homes diagnosed with ID/DD through hands-on approach training that would allow full implementation of the DSP core competencies in various, every day real life situations.