Direct Support Professional (DSP)

DEPARTMENT:  Direct Support Professional (DSP)

REPORTS TO:   Program Director/Deputy Executive Director


SUMMARY:   The Direct Support Professional (DSP) position exists to teach, coach, model and accompany persons with disabilities so that they are involved in family, neighborhood, civic, cultural and religious activities and events, meet new people, develop friendships, exercise choices and acquire competencies to maintain these activities and accomplish personal goals.

The Direct Support Professional must demonstrate the ability to communicate both verbally and in writing; read, interpret and apply written information such as policies, procedures, personal support plans, training and staff development readings; understand, develop and implement learning objectives and possess knowledge of basic household skills.  The Direct Support Professional must be physically able to lift and to participate in physical activities of daily living.



The health, safety, and well-being of the individuals we support is considered the most important part of the position.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Be knowledgeable of and responsive to the areas of each person’s Individual Service Plan and Annual Assessment that are deemed important for an individual’s overall Health and safety.
  • Maintain compliance with all fire safety requirement.  Respond to and take action to correct problems and malfunctions of systems and report concerns to Immediate Supervisor.
  • Ensure that individuals are regularly eating nutritional meals (assisting in the preparation of menus and meals) and ensure that nutritional food is available to individuals.
  • Inform the program director of any unusual situations and occurrences, which impact the Health/Safety and Welfare of an individual.
  • Provide individuals with necessary safeguards as defined in their individual Service plans and applicable agency policy and procedures.
  • Ensure that individuals are not left unsupervised, except as outlined in the person’s Individual Service Plan.
Personal Support Planning:

The Direct Support Professional will assist in developing teaching strategies that will give individuals the opportunities to develop a sense of independence, responsibility and self-esteem.  The goal of each teaching strategy will be to develop skills within each person that may give them the opportunity to maximize their capabilities and ultimately gain independence.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Actively participate as an Interdisciplinary Team member in designing, coordinating and implementing Personal Support Plans and attending Monthly team meetings.
  • Become knowledgeable of each individual’s needs as outlined in their  Individual Supports Plan, this is necessary to assist individuals to increase personal competencies and become socially integrated in their community.
Policies and Procedures:

Employees are expected to adhere to all policies and procedures that provide a legal framework for the work that we do.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Read, thoroughly understand, and maintain compliance with personnel guidelines and all other agency policies and procedures as specified in the program manual and subsequent updates and revisions.
  • Ensure that all licensing, federal, state and local regulations, contractual obligations, and health and safety policies are followed at all times.
  • Notify immediate supervisor in the case of calling off work no later than four hours prior to your shift.  If immediate supervisor in not available, you are expected to call the next person on the Management Support System.

We believe that the best way to accomplish our purpose is to create an environment where people work together cooperatively.  We promote teamwork using the diversity of knowledge and expertise of all employees.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Demonstrate effective communication skills, to include active listening, and clear verbal and written expression.
  •  Demonstrate organizational skills to include prioritizing tasks, attending meetings, and being prepared for work.
  • Be an active, self-directed participant of the team, committed to problem solving and following through with solutions.
  • Accept and give feedback as appropriate.
  •  Interact in a respectful and positive manner with team members.

Each employee is expected to maintain the highest standard of professionalism in his/her interactions with people who use our services, their families, the public, co-workers, and allied agencies.  Each employee is expected to be a valued role model in the areas of dress, appearance, personal conduct and presentation of self.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Conduct self in a professional manner to ensure positive working relationships with supervisors, co-workers, and persons involved with internal and external services.
  • Adhere to all applicable federal, state and local laws.
  • Ensure confidentiality is maintained.
  • Treat all persons with dignity and respect in a manner consistent with a person of their age and culture.

The basis of the work that we do must be recorded, making documentation an essential part of each position.  All documents must be based on fact and are considered legally binding, confidential, and the property of Royer-Greaves Services.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Correctly complete all documentation in a legible, objective, readable and professional manner.
  • Complete daily logs, progress notes, goal plans, and any other documentation as needed, within prescribed time frames.
  • Submit reimbursement requests, time cards, travel vouchers, and other related fiscal reports within prescribed time frames.
  • Submit incident reports for any injury/illness involving individuals using services to immediate supervisor for approval within 24 hours after incident.
  • Immediately report Unusual Incident to immediate supervisor.
  • Ensure prompt notification of medical emergencies to immediate supervisor and/or Healthcare Specialist.
  • Review and initial House Communication Log at the beginning of each scheduled shift; follow-through with job tasks as identified in the log; and initial House Communication Log.
Community Involvement:

It is the responsibility of each employee to assist people we are supporting to establish natural (i.e. no paid for) supports and relationships, thereby decreasing their reliance on formal support services and increasing opportunities for meaningful relationships and experiences.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Assist individuals to utilize generic public resources and increase their exposure to general life experiences.
  • Assist individuals to participate in a variety of community activities creating opportunities for people to make educated choices.
Training/Professional Development:

Employees will participate in ALL necessary training and professional development activities.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Attend all trainings as scheduled.
  • Seek out and participate in training activities that enhance skills, job performance and professional development.
  • Collaborate with Immediate Supervisor to schedule trainings.
  • Arrange to make up missed trainings (if training is missed because of an emergency).

Employees are required to provide transportation for persons using services.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Use program vehicles (or personal vehicle if necessary) to transport individuals to and from work, day activities, school, medical, social, and other activities.
  • Report all unsafe conditions, including unsafe individual behaviors and vehicle issues to Program Director.
  • Submit transportation logs, gas charge receipts, and travel reimbursement to immediate supervisor be designated due dates.
  • Maintain license, registration, insurance and inspection for the vehicle to which you have daily access and immediately inform supervisor of any changes.

Employees will advocate for and adhere to proactive medical practices that help maintain the highest standards of health achievable for each individual.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Review Drug Information Sheets and be familiar with each medication administered to individuals.
  • Participate in and successfully pass Medication Administration Certification within six months of employment.
  • Schedule and attend medical appointments with Individuals, and follow through with physicians’ order.
  • Utilize and maintain adaptive medical equipment as outlined in an Individual’s Support Plan.
  • Immediately report changes in a person’s health status to appropriate personnel.
  • Promptly respond to individual medical emergencies in a professional manner, ensuring prompt notification of Immediate Supervisor.

Employees will provide individuals the necessary supports in managing and protecting their personal funds and possessions.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Be knowledgeable of each person’s financial affairs and follow-through with the individual’s financial plan.
  • Accurately complete Individual Financial Logs with each transaction, and submit monthly to Immediate Supervisor.
  • Maintain household expenses within budgetary guidelines established by the Immediate Supervisor.
Physical Site:
  • Employees are responsible for maintaining a clean, well-maintained, aesthetically pleasing environment.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Maintain home environments consistent with regulatory, agency, and lease requirements.
  • Assist in ensuring that living environment is clean and presentable at all times.
  • Be efficient in the use of utilities and other household items.
Personal Care:

Employees are responsible for meeting the daily living needs of individuals in the areas of personal care in hygiene, dressing and clothing maintenance and housekeeping tasks related to an individual personal need requirements.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Encourage independence in all areas, giving appropriate personal care assistance, where needed, to include bathing, toileting and changing adult attends, assisting with eating, etc. as they apply to each person’s individual need requirements.
  • Ensure that persons using services have their needs met at all times.


  • Perform other duties and responsibilities are required.

The above is intended to describe the principle responsibilities and outcomes, and the associated requirements, as well as the work environment for this position.  It is not intended to represent an exhaustive list of all the aspects of the job.

  • This job has no supervisory responsibilities.
  • High school diploma or general education degree (GED), or one to three months related experience and/or training, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Certificates, licenses and registrations required:  Pennsylvania State Police background check, Pennsylvania Child Abuse Clearance, Indentogo (FBI) fingerprint scan and report
  • Medication Administration Training Certification
  • Diversity – Demonstrates knowledge of EEO policy; Shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; Educates others on the value of diversity; Promotes a harassment-free environment; Builds a diverse workforce.
  • Ethics – Treats people with respect; Keeps commitments; Inspires the trust of others; Works with integrity and ethically; Upholds organizational values.
  • Attendance/Punctuality – Is consistently at work and on time; Ensures work responsibilities are covered when absent; Arrives at meetings and appointments on time.
  • Dependability – Follows instructions, responds to management direction; Takes responsibility for own actions; Keeps commitments; Commits to long hours of work when necessary to reach goals; Completes tasks on time or notifies appropriate person with an alternate plan.
  • Interpersonal Skills – Focuses on solving conflict, not blaming; Maintains confidentiality; Listens to others without interrupting; Keeps emotions under control; Remains open to others’ ideas and tries new things.
  • Oral Communication – Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; Listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Demonstrates group presentation skills; Participates in meetings.
  • Organizational Support – Follows policies and procedures; Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; Supports organization’s goals and values; Benefits organization through outside activities; Supports affirmative action and respects diversity.
  • Safety and Security – Observes safety and security procedures; Determines appropriate action beyond guidelines; Reports potentially unsafe conditions; Uses equipment and materials properly.
  • Written Communication – Writes clearly and informatively; Edits work for spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs; Presents numerical data effectively; Able to read and interpret written information.


  • Frequently required to stand
  • Frequently required to walk
  • Frequently required to sit
  • Frequently/ required to utilize hand and finger dexterity
  • Frequently required to climb, balance, bend, stoop, kneel or crawl
  • Frequently required to talk or hear
  • Occasionally/ required to taste or smell
  • While performing the duties of this job, the noise level in the work environment is usually moderate
  • The employee must occasionally lift and /or move more than 30 pounds
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include: Close vision; Distance vision and ability to adjust focus
  • The position requires frequent local travel to residential homes and occasional travel for meetings and train opportunities.