State lawmakers are calling on New York State officials to provide incentives for the skills training of direct support professionals who care for vulnerable people in a statewide shortage.
The Sens Republicans. Sue Serino and Mike Martucci called in a joint statement for the issue to become a priority in the state, as direct care providers for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in recent weeks have increasingly raised concerns about the exhaustion of the workforce as the state emerges. of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I have received too many calls and emails from concerned residents who see the impact of a staff shortage on the health and safety of their loved ones with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Serino said. “Here in our community, we #ThinkDifferently and it’s high time for the state to do the same and ensure that New Yorkers of all abilities have the resources they need to not only stay safe and healthy. good health, but to truly thrive in realizing their full potential. this population has the personnel it needs to provide high quality care to all those it serves, which is why we urge the state to do resolving this staffing shortage a top priority.
The decline in the workforce of direct support professionals was reflected in a report surveying more than 100 agencies that provide services, finding a 74.3% increase in vacancy rates for staff between January and April of this year. Job applications also fell 93% in the first quarter of the year, according to the report.
“Direct Support Professionals are the backbone of our system of care for the intellectually and developmentally disabled community,” Martucci said. “OPWDD must act quickly to ensure the alarming number of vacancies identified in the New York Disabilities Advocate report are addressed. By working with local schools, we can train the next generation workforce the I/DD community needs and provide them with the care they deserve.