Why I Work in Direct Care: Celebrating Direct Support Professionals
Photo credit: S:US
Alisha (left), and Sheda, two direct support professionals in S:US’ developmental disabilities programs.
S:US’ direct support professionals (DSPs) are a lifeline to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. With compassion and dedication, they provide vital assistance with everything from meeting daily needs, such as medication administration, to companionship and a variety of other supports to help people contribute to their communities and enjoy all that life has to offer. DSPs play an invaluable role in the lives of those they work with.
At S:US, we believe direct support professionals deserve to be recognized as the professionals that they are, and support the #bfair2directcare campaign urging lawmakers to give direct care workers a more sustainable living wage.
We honor the devotion that our direct support professionals bring to helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities live more fulfilling lives.
Meet two of S:US’ direct support professionals, Alisha and Sheda, who share what their work means to them.
Alisha, DSP at S:US’ Hull Street residence:
“I think this was a god-send job for me. I try to put myself in other people’s situations. Being on the outside, I didn’t realize how many people needed so much help. When I got into this field, I started loving it and just continued doing it.
“I have had a lot of memorable moments […] I’ve worked in over 25 houses. The individuals always fall in love with me, for whatever reason. I do not know why. But they do. For me, that is so memorable — to know that I could go and open myself to so many people. Every day I think about that. If today or tomorrow I decide to do something different and come out of this field, what would the impact be to the individuals I work with? This job is something that I truly love.”
Sheda, DSP at S:US’ Jefferson Street residence:
“I love to help people. Especially people who can’t do certain things for themselves — I like to assist and help them. They may think that they can’t do something, but you show them that they can with just a little assistance.
“No one can always do everything. Me and you probably couldn’t do many things as well — sometimes we need assistance. So just to see them happy about doing something they didn’t think they could do, it makes me happy.
“You never know, you could be in the same position as them. You may not have been born with it, but things happen in the world — you may end up with a disability, for instance, or you may need assistance with something, and you wouldn’t want anybody to treat you wrong or do anything to you.
“I love it. There is nothing I would change about my job.”
- Learn more about S:US’ Developmental Disabilities Services.