Following Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s declaration of DSP week last year, this year’s DSP week was held September 13th-19th. The Arc celebrated theirdirect support staff throughout the week in various ways.
The Arc served lunch to over 500 support staff at each of it’s three divisions; Springfield, Monnet, and Joplin. During these luncheons staff were able to participate in carnival style games, as well as, receive gift cards and Arc water bottles.
Management staff over each team also held parties throughout the week at theirvarious 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 challenging job they do every day. DSP week is one small way The Arc as a whole can truly say thank you.