Human Services Marks Direct Support Professional Recognition Week by Highlighting 6th Consecutive Year of Wage Increases for Vital Sector of NJ’s Care Workforce

Commissioner Adelman & Senior Staff Visit Provider in Bridgewater to Highlight Direct Support Professional Wage Increases Under Governor Murphy

Sept. 15, 2023

(BRIDGEWATER) – Marking Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, Commissioner Sarah Adelman today visited a program for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to recognize the importance of the professionals who help them live successfully in communities across New Jersey. The Commissioner also highlighted the sixth consecutive year of wage increases for this critical workforce.

Commissioner Adelman was joined by Deputy Commissioner for Aging and Disability Services Kaylee McGuire and Division of Developmental Disabilities Assistant Commissioner Jonathan Seifried at Our House, which provides innovative programs for adults with disabilities.

To thrive in the community, many individuals depend on the support provided by direct support professionals, or DSPs, who ensure that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are achieving their personal goals.

During the visit, officials highlighted how the Murphy Administration has now invested in wage increases for DSPs over the last six state budgets. The budget signed by Governor Murphy earlier this year provided $83.4 million for DSP wage increases, including $41.7 million in state funds and an equal amount in federal matching funds.

“Direct support professionals are a lifeline to individuals with disabilities and their families, as evidenced here at Our House,” Commissioner Adelman said. “Our visit today to meet residents and their direct support professionals demonstrates the vital role DSPs play in helping individuals with disabilities thrive in communities across New Jersey. The dedication of DSPs improves the quality of life for so many New Jerseyans. We thank them for all they do every day, and investing in this workforce is just one way we show our appreciation.”

“Direct support professionals go above and beyond assisting in daily activities,” Deputy Commissioner McGuire said. “They foster friendships and empower individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to reach their full potential. Under this Administration, we’ve made clear that we value their commitment. We are, quite simply, grateful for their dedication to improving the lives of others.”

“Direct support professionals provide a broad range of support while developing trusting relationships with individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Assistant Commissioner Seifried said. “They make a tremendous difference in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We thank them for their work.”

“We will always advocate for our DSPs and the adults with disabilities we serve, and to be heard and validated with real action from our government agencies is a true testament to the fact that our direct support professionals are the heart and soul of care and inclusion at Our House,” said Michele DelCorsano, President and CEO of Our House, Inc.

While the size of the wage increases each employee is based on factors such as agency pay scales and services provided, on average DSP wages will have increased 65 percent under the Murphy Administration once next wage increase goes into effect on Jan. 1.

Direct Support Professional Recognition Week runs from Sept. 10th to 16th and is an opportunity to highlight the workforce that supports individuals with disabilities.

The Division of Developmental Disabilities provides supportive services to adult individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in the community, including employment, housing and community engagement.