Technology that Strengthens the Capacity of Direct Support Professionals

Monday, July 23
11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Grand Ballroom A

Hiring Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) can take a lot of time and money that could be better spent providing top notch services. Ensuring that potential hires complete training and paperwork before they start work is critical to ensuring that these candidates become qualified employees. Paperwork can be a nightmare to maintain. Using computers in the work place, at all levels of the agency, especially for management and for DSPs allows time to be freed up to focus on the real issues of supporting the people in our programs. Today’s technology must be easy to use and require little to no special training. The ability to get up and running fast and have targeted views allows a system to be leveraged agency-wide, which eliminates the need to try and figure out how to make different programs work together. Human resources and management can easily manage DSP candidates’ and employees’ paperwork electronically.

Everyone knows that DSPs are required to take more training than most other Agency positions. DSP employees ongoing education and training can be electronically input so that management and DSPs know when a training is due (or past due). This helps the Agency by ensuring that there are no lapses in training and certification requirements. Annual reviewers can review trainings, set goals and targets for their employees, and complete initial and annual reviews all electronically.

Scheduling DSPs to cover all shifts and schedules can be challenging, but the management can tame that nightmare with an easy to use calendar-like interface. Finding a substitute when someone calls out can be accomplished by managers via text message generation to off-duty DSPs with the required skills. DSPs respond via text and management makes the final decision on who to contact and schedule.

Having DSPs working around the clock can present a challenge. DSPs can use a fill in form to communicate their concerns, questions, and more to their peers. DSPs can skip past their direct supervisors if they would not feel comfortable sharing certain information directly. For continuity of services, shift notes can be kept in one location and viewed by everyone. No one can say they didn’t get briefed when things are tracked. In today’s world, electronic medium is the best practice.

Please join us to hear how we are moving these ideas into reality.

Robert Malone

Executive Director
The Arc of Prince George's County

Rob joined The Arc Prince George's County as its Executive Director in June, 2015. As a result of his leadership, his chapter has experienced growth in private charitable giving, increased job placements, more person-centered supports and improved operational efficiency. He brings to The Arc a diverse background in insurance, banking, and nonprofit management. Most recently, he served as Chief Business Development Officer for Volunteers of America Chesapeake (VOA). He is also the founder of Mentoring to Manhood, a mentoring program for male students in Prince George's County. The program has been recognized as one of the best small charities in the Greater Washington Area by the Catalogue for Philanthropy. Rob earned his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Howard University and his Master's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland's R.H. Smith School of Business.

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James Deems

Program Administrator
The Arc Prince George's County

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