Oregon is in the midst of an unprecedented workforce shortage in the Long-Term Supports and Services (LTSS) comprehensive system for individuals who experience intellectual/developmental disabilities. The facts are there, the data has been warning of this impending crisis for years.
Oregon service providers have absorbed the rising cost of a DSP position - including yearly increases when they could - without additional state subsidy or COLA since 2009.
The average DSP has an annual salary of $22,000 per year. Yet, the average cost of living in Oregon is over $45,000 per year. There are an estimated 14,000 DSPs who provide essential care, services and support for over 6,000 individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities (IDD) in comprehensive services in Oregon.
DSPs are the critical element of care for those who need their assistance to live a full, inclusive life - however, these poverty wages are forcing many to choose jobs with higher pay to support themselves and their families. This is causing critical retention and recruitment issues for service providers across the state.
Oregon policy and funding decision makers must take bold action to resolve the direct care workforce crisis in the comprehensive support system for individuals with IDD. Doing nothing puts people at imminent risk of neglect, abuse and puts our workforce at risk for injuries.
We need your help.