By: Roderick Foote- Director of Human Resources
Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are the backbone of the OPWDD service system, and targeted investments are needed to recruit, train, and retain the professionals needed to improve the experience and outcomes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Especially during the pandemic, DSPs provided critical care that kept people healthy and safe. OPWDD is dedicating roughly 76 percent of its ARPA funds to the following initiatives, which are proposed to acknowledge the work of these DSPs, support retention and enhance workforce skills and capacity.
Due to the workforce vacancy and turnover rates in the field of Direct Support, as well as the overall workforce shortages that many employers are experiencing, additional compensation is needed to retain workers and enhance direct service as a career choice. OPWDD will use enhanced FMAP funds to provide supplemental payments in the form of a Retention Bonus; based on a percentage calculated relative to their annual base salary, divided by 1 plus the agency mandated fringe benefit percentage.
OPWDD will issue supplemental, one-time payments to service providers based on cost data and the providers’ attestation that all funds will be paid to qualified workers.
The Retention Bonus will be prospective and available to DSPs and Family Care Providers covering the period of time between 4/1/2021 and 3/31/2022. You have been identified as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) that worked for Unique Care Community Services, Inc. (UCCS) during this period. And will receive a one-time payment on 10/31/2022 in appreciation of your continued services.