WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) led the Senate this week in recognizing the contribution of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) to the nation’s health care system. Their resolution, S.Res. 312, was introduced as part of National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week (September 8-14), which honors those who provide home and community-based health services to the chronically ill, seniors, and those living with a disability. With the help of direct support professionals, these individuals can perform daily activities that many people take for granted, such as eating, bathing, dressing, and leaving the house. Direct Support Professionals are dedicated to helping vulnerable individuals with complex health conditions live, work, and participate fully in their communities.
“As our population continues to age, the demand for the services DSPs provide will increase and so does our gratitude for their hard work and dedication,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Health Care Subcommittee. “These dedicated professionals give seniors and individuals with disabilities or chronic illnesses the support they need to live independent and fulfilling lives in their homes and communities. DSP’s are an invaluable part of our nation’s health care system. One week is hardly enough to thank them for their selflessness, but I am proud to recognize their daily contributions with this resolution.”
“Every day, Direct Support Professionals work hard to provide those in need with critical support that leads to more independent living and a better quality of life,” said Senator Collins, the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee. “Our bipartisan resolution ensures that these professionals receive the recognition they deserve. I thank all direct support professionals for making such an incredible difference in the lives of so many seniors and those living with a disability.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of DSPs is projected to grow by an average of 41 percent from 2016 to 2026, compared to a 7 percent average growth rate for all occupations during that period.
In addition to Senators Cardin and Collins, the resolution marking Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week was cosponsored by Senators Angus King (I-Maine), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ed Markey (D-Mass), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.)