One of the most significant crises facing care for the disabled in Pennsylvania is the inability to attract and retain qualified personal, DSP (Direct Support Personnel).  People that have a caring heart and a skill to deal with those who are intellectually challenged.

The wages for DPS personal in Pennsylvania are substantially lower than the average wage in Pennsylvania.   Qualified personal are leaving the field in search of better incomes for themselves and their families.  A lot of DSPs are working second and third jobs to make ends meet. They just can’t afford to work as a DPS. Attracting qualified and dedicated people is near impossible.  That’s the reality


The Numbers for 2018:

  • Over 55,000 DSPs work in Pennsylvania
  • In 2018 the average DSP wage was $12.83
  • The DSP turnover rate is 38%
  • The percentage of open DSP positions was 20.4% in 2018


In Pennsylvania those with autism and intellectual disabilities require Direct Support Personal who are dedicated, qualified and well trained.  Into this mix is the complex and ever-changing maze of regulations and requirements for DSPs.

As individuals and as a group of concerned citizens we must raise the awareness of those set those levels that ultimately determine the wages paid to qualified and caring DSPs and that responsibility rests in the hands of our state legislators. With so many jobs open in the DSP field and trained and qualified individual leaving the field, the situation can only get worse.

To find you Pennsylvania State Representative go to the State Legislature on-line search page

To download a complete PDF of all Pennsylvania State Reps, click here.