Journal of Sustainable Social Change




Direct support professionals (DSPs) are responsible for the daily supervision and care of people diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) living in community residential group homes. In New York State, these DSPs are trained within the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities DSPs core competencies; a set of ethical, technical, and cognitive training geared to the individual care of each person as per their specific needs. This qualitative case study was to understand how DSPs perceived the implementation of the core competencies after being trained and under the direction of their supervisors. Using the Donabedian’s quality-of-care conceptual framework, this study explored what DSPs perceived to be necessary in strengthening the effectiveness of the New York State DSP competencies within organizational policies (structure) with the DSPs knowledge, skills, and, attitudes (processes) to the quality-of-life (outcomes). Data were collected through face-to-face interviews with 12 DSPs and supervisors. Data were inductively coded then subject to Braun and Clarke’s thematic analysis procedure. Findings revealed that DSPs and supervisors implemented the core competencies inconsistently because of organizational perceptions and experiences. Implications for social change in this study includes recommendations to the National Alliance of DSPs to add a practicum component to the core competencies training that may benefit people living in community residential group homes diagnosed with IDDs through hands-on-approach training that would allow full implementation of the DSP core competencies in various everyday, real-life situations