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Backers seek more funds for the disabled Sentinel & Enterprise
Here's the Problem.
We are facing a workforce shortage crisis across the Commonwealth. We know families supporting someone with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) rely on direct support services so they can live and work in our communities and stay outside of institutionalized settings. However, recruiting and retaining well-trained, qualified direct support professionals (DSP) and other support workers has been an ongoing challenge.
Our state’s recent raise of the minimum wage and high cost of living have exacerbated the workforce staffing crisis. A recent report by United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) and the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) ranks Massachusetts as 35th in the country in serving people with I/DD and their families.
We are working with The Arc of Massachusetts (The Arc) in a campaign to resolve the workforce shortage crisis. We along with The Arc (and other agency partners) request that Governor Baker’s Executive Office of Health & Human Services (EOHHS) adopt a long-term action plan to address the workforce crisis while investing in FY’20 initial budget funding.
In addition, we are supporting passage of the state bill, House Docket #1130, “An act relative to meeting the human services workforce demand,” sponsored by Rep. Denise Garlick and Sen. Barry Finegold. The proposed bill implements a minimum $17/hour prevailing required wage for entry level direct care or support staff, with a goal of achieving $24/hour for direct care/support staff by 2025.
We need your help now!
Please call the Governor’s office (617- 725-4005) addressing the workforce crisis and the value of a qualified, sustainable, direct support workforce and then call your State Senator and State Representative whose phone numbers can be found at http://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator.
If we act now, ultimately, we will see cost-effective savings created by reducing the costs associated with high workforce turnover. This will allow family members of individuals with I/DD to keep jobs and accept promotions, increasing families’ economic security. As importantly, finding solutions will improve the quality of supports and services for people with I/DD and increase their participation in community life. The time for acceptance of this Workforce crisis has passed. We need a valued and qualified workforce now!