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The Role of DSPs during COVID-19

During the COVID19 pandemic, the role of the Direct Support Professional (DSP) remains the same: to support individuals to maintain their health and safety while building skills that are meaningful to the individual. To that end, DSPs must adapt their practices in order to ensure the health and safety of both the participant and themselves. This video from the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) nicely frames the known information related to COVID-19 through a DSP focused lens. NADSP has also developed a helpful one-page pdf for DSP’s that summarizes the most essential COVID-19 strategies from the video above.  Remember, as a DSP you should continue to do what you do best, be vigilant in noticing any changes in behavior or symptoms when working with the individual you support. 

Generally, it is important to remember that this is a shared and natural human experience that we are all experiencing. As much as possible, DSPs can use this opportunity to build rapport, share experiences, and promote compassion and understanding with the people you support. One specific way to relate to the person you support is to share ways that you may be working to fight negative thoughts during this time. See this resource for great tips to do that for yourself and the individuals you support. 

Are there other strategies or recommendations that have been effective for the participants you support? If so, let us know! Please send any suggestions or  questions related to this email or requests for additional resources to RA-basprovidersupprt@pa.gov