At The MENTOR Network, we believe that our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), Life Skills Trainers, Personal Service Attendants, Certified Nurses Assistants and others who work in direct care should be valued, supported and recognized for a job well done. This year, September 7 marks the beginning of National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, providing an opportunity to honor and thank DSPs who play a crucial role in enhancing and supporting the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, brain injury and other challenges.
“Direct Support Professionals are at the core of The Network’s mission,” says Bruce Nardella, The MENTOR Network’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “They make it possible for The Network to deliver quality-of-life-enhancing services to thousands of individuals throughout the country. So on behalf of everyone at The MENTOR Network, I would like to thank all of our direct support employees for their hard work and dedication to making a difference in the lives of the individuals we serve.”
For the third consecutive year The Network is launching a month-long campaign to mark national DSP Week and celebrate the achievements of our direct support employees across the country. This year’s campaign provides further opportunities for employees to share what they love about working in direct care and be recognized for the daily contributions they make in helping individuals live life to the fullest.
Each day throughout the month of September, The Network is highlighting one employee in a direct support role on our Facebook page and on our DSP of the Day page. In addition, employees have the opportunity to submit stories about themselves, coworkers, or the individuals they support that exemplify The MENTOR Network’s values. Each week in September, The Network will select a story to be featured in our Employee Stories section and on our Facebook page.
Recognition of our DSPs does not stop there. Many of our partners from around the country are also doing their part to recognize these talented and caring employees:
- REM Iowa is hosting a variety of recognition events to honor its dedicated team of DSPs including unique giveaways of t-shirts, mugs, flashlights, popcorn, and more. In addition, supervisors and fellow co-workers throughout the state are sending personalized thank-you notes to direct support staff. To learn more about DSP recognition events happening throughout the state, visit the REM Iowa Facebook page.
- REM Minnesota is recognizing its direct support workforce in unique ways through its 11 regions. From a carnival-themed event at REM Hennepin, to special desserts during DSP week at REM South Central Services, and an ice cream social at REM Central Lakes, every office is finding ways to say thanks and honor their direct support employees. Visit the REM Minnesota Facebook page for more information.
- REM North Dakota DSPs are being honored in each of the organization’s four regions. The Devils Lake program is giving out cupcakes, goody bags and door prizes throughout DSP Week. Staff members at Grand Forks are writing thank-you notes, hosting a barbecue for staff and family, and also holding a DSP breakfast. The Grafton office is distributing appreciation certificates and holding a “Let’s Make a Deal”-themed game show with great prizes. In the Minot office, employees are hosting a baked-potato bar and sending appreciation cards to their co-workers. Keep up with the REM North Dakota Facebook page for updates and pictures.
- REM Ohio is hosting an array of picnics, luncheons and group outings across their Eastern, Central and Northern regions. Tote bags will be handed out to employees and individuals served at all events, where various games, giveaways and awards presentations will be held in honor of their direct support workforce. Visit the REM Ohio Facebook page for further details on each event.
The Network looks forward to continuing to recognize and thank our direct support employees throughout the month. To learn more about our incredible direct support employees, visit our DSP of the Day page or like us on Facebook. To learn more about DSP Week, visit NADSP.org.