Direct Support Professionals – or DSPs – are the front line of support and the backbone of the programs and services Bancroft provides. They respond to an endless array of basic and complex needs with compassion and grit – helping those with severe challenges build life skills, access work or education, and communicate with the world around them. DSPs attend to the most personal tasks for those in their care, manage medication and monitor health – providing dignity and promoting independence. DSPs are trusted protectors and fierce advocates. They are cooks, drivers and companions. The job is not easy but it is profoundly necessary and personally rewarding. 

Of the nearly 4.5 million DSPs employed nationally, I am lucky and honored to work alongside nearly 2,000 of them who are employed by Bancroft.  They support children and adults in an array of residential settings, day programs and schools. They are a critical force in the human services industry, vital to the care of those living with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities and brain injuries and indispensable in life-sustaining programs and support services. 

This work isn’t for everyone – but those who sign up for the task of caring for others, do it because they thrive on making a difference in people’s lives. And they do. 

I know colleagues of mine will understand the importance of those who are on the front lines. They are the ones standing at the front door of your business or organization; they are the true heroes in a year plus of uncertainty. The Direct Support Professionals are those heroes to me, to the people we support, and to the families who trust us with their care. And I thank them – not just this week, but every day of the year.


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