This year’s DSP week, declared by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon two years ago, was held September 11th-17th. The Arc celebrated their direct support staff throughout the week in various ways.
The Arc Administration served lunch to over 500 support staff at each of it’s three divisions; Springfield, Monett and Joplin. During these luncheons staff were able to participate in fun games, as well as, receive gift cards and lunch boxes with The Arc logo filled with goodies.
Management staff over each team also held parties throughout the week at their various locations to say thank you to their specific teams. Each staff was given the chance to relax and enjoy a break from work for a moment.
The Arc employs roughly 1,000 Direct Support Professionals. DSP’s are required to complete 40 hours worth of training including: Orientation, Medication Administration, CPR, First Aid, Mandt, and other medical trainings specific to the individuals they will be working with. They also need to complete 12-25 hours of online training provided by the College of Direct Support. Recently the training has also changed to include shadow shifts and weekly meetings with managers to ensure staff feel trained and prepared to begin working with their individuals. Staff who will work with individuals with autism or a dual diagnosis have an additional 25 hours of training. Once training is completed they receive a nationally recognized certificate for completing CPR, First Aid, and Mandt, as well as, a certificate issued by the Missouri Department of Mental Health for the medication class.
As the back bone of this organization, The Arc continues to make improvements and strives to recognize it’s DSP’s for the important job they do every day. DSP week is one small way The Arc and other similar providers can truly say thank you.