Direct Funding From Support Professionals Could Help Arc GLOW | Top story

BATAVIA – The funding that Governor Kathy Hochul recently said will support the recruitment of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) to help people with developmental disabilities is good news, but Arc GLOW has not received much specific information until. ‘now, its CEO said.

“It was very fluid. We knew something was going to happen, but we have details, which made it difficult, ”said CEO Martin Miskell.

Hochul announced that the New York Office for People with Developmental Disabilities will provide more than $ 1.5 billion in one-time American Rescue Plan Act funding to support recruitment efforts, retention incentives and immunization bonuses for direct support professionals who provide support to people with developmental disabilities to deal with labor shortages.

“We encouraged everyone to get vaccinated for sure,” Miskell said. “This directly benefits DSPs. DSPs are only a part of our workforce, but they are a very important part of the workforce.

Miskell said Arc GLOW has an idea of ​​what some of the funding might be.

“The incentive is $ 500 if you’re fully immunized and $ 1,000 for longevity. There are also people who work throughout the pandemic. There is also some extra money that we are always trying to figure out how to allocate.

Miskell said the agency did not receive any state ARPA funding.

“The devil is in the details. It usually takes a while for the money to filter. Once we get the money or have a specific timeline for getting it, we will start passing it on, ”he said. “They’re based on 2019 data for most of the money, using data from the Livingston-Wyoming Arc and the Genesee-Orléans Arc regarding how much we spent on professionals in the direct support. My CFO collects this data.

Miskell said the money DSPs will get is very well deserved. Arc’s residential programs operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Direct support professionals are essential to maintaining our programs and providing high quality services to the people we support and to families,” he said.

Arc has nearly 400 DSPs in the GLOW area, Miskell said.

“The other important thing is that we are trying to offer an accreditation program for direct support professionals,” he said. “When you have a Ministry of Labor category, we hope you get more funding for these degrees, so you will be able to keep up and keep a high quality staff. You will have more career path and earn more money so that we can retain them.

The CEO said Arc is trying to figure out how to make additional funding sustainable so he can increase starting salaries. rather than just giving staff improvements and bonuses. Making starting salaries more sustainable would attract more people to apply, he said.

The starting base salary for DSPs is $ 14 per hour.

“It goes up with the accreditation and so on, different types of shifting differentials and things like that…,” Miskell said.

“The minimum wage is increasing for the ninth year in a row and our funding is not going to keep up any time soon,” he said. “It was a pressure. We are certainly all in favor of people making more money, but we would like to be funded to keep it open.

Arc will be happy to receive the funding that Hochul said would be available for DSPs, he said.

“After really 11 years of limited funding, this is a good change,” he said.

Hochul said the New York City Office for People with Developmental Disabilities will provide more than $ 1.5 billion in one-time funding for the American Rescue Plan Act.

“Direct support professionals have provided essential support to people with developmental disabilities throughout the pandemic when we needed it most, despite the risk to themselves and their own families,” Hochul said. “We owe a debt of gratitude to these workers and the funding for the US bailout paves the way for bonuses, incentives and one-off pay increases to help these hardworking, loyal and dedicated workers do what they love. more, by supporting people with intellectual disabilities. ”

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