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Illinois Direct Support Professional Workforce Initiative

Project Overview

The Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities (ICDD) has funded a three year workforce systems change initiative designed to improve recruitment and retention of Direct Support Professionals in Illinois, who are competent and confident in the skills needed to provide quality supports and services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Partners for this project include the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration, the Institute on Disability and Human Development at UIC, and the Human Services Research Institute.


DSP Toolkit

The Initiative has created two versions (family and individual) of a toolkit designed to provide easy-to-use tips and strategies to help people to find, choose and keep high quality Direct Support Professionals. Anyone can download a copy of either or both versions of "Find, Choose, and Keep Great Direct Support Professionals FREE using the links below:

       Family Toolkit View/Download the Family Version of the DSP Toolkit
(pdf) 1.48 MB
       Individual Toolkit View/Download the Individual Version of the DSP Toolkit
(pdf) 1.67 MB

View/Download a text only copy of the Individual Version of the DSP Toolkit 50 KB


Workforce Development Plan

The Initiative’s Steering and Advisory Committee have created a comprehensive plan to address direct support workforce issues in Illinois. The following are three versions of the Workforce Development Plan with varying details about these workforce issues.

         One Page Summary - (pdf) 1.5 MB
         One Page Summary - (Word) 59 KB
         Executive Summary - (pdf) 3.3 MB
         Executive Summary - (Word) 52 KB
         Full Version - (pdf) 3.4 MB
         Full Version - (Word) 169 KB

Project Goal

The goal of this project is to develop long-lasting changes in Illinois so that people start applying for Direct Support Professional positions and those who are hired stay in positions longer. The project will assist fifteen community human service employers (14 organizations and 10 individual and family employers) of Direct Support Professionals to put into action proven methods to find and keep high quality employees. In return, the employers will contribute time and people willing to learn new skills, share their expertise, implement changes, and provide feedback to project advisory committee on how to make these changes work best across Illinois.

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