WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are leading the Senate again in recognizing the dedication of frontline health care workers with a resolution commemorating September 12-18 as Direct Support Professionals Week. The resolution recognizes the dedication and vital role of direct support professionals (DSPs) in enhancing the lives of individuals with chronic illness, seniors, and those living with a disability. The coronavirus pandemic has created new challenges for ensuring the health and safety of older adults and individuals with disabilities; the Senate appreciates the contributions of DSPs in supporting these individuals and their families nationwide.
“At such a challenging time for health care across this country, we are fortunate to have millions of dedicated workers who are there to help patients with their activities of daily living,” said Senator Cardin. “We honor the women and men who make a difference in the lives of so many others and encourage other professionals to enter this critical field. We must ensure these hard-working individuals have the income and support they need and deserve.”
“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. “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.”
Direct support professionals are dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable individuals with complex health conditions and work to help them participate in their communities to the fullest extent possible. The Senate resolution “finds that the successful implementation of public policies affecting individuals with disabilities in the United States can depend on the dedication of direct support professionals.”
In addition to Senators Cardin and Collins, the resolution marking Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week is cosponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Jackie Rosen (D-Nev.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of direct support professionals is projected to grow by an average of 33 percent from 2020 to 2030, compared to an 8 percent average growth rate for all occupations during that period.