The Georgia Initiative for Direct Support Workforce Development (GIDSWD) is a statewide project targeting the workforce for home and community services provided to Georgia’s citizens who are aging, have intellectual or developmental disabilities, and/or who have physical disabilities. One foundational component of this initiative is to build workforce change capacity through the development of an active stakeholder group. The intent of the stakeholder group is to enhance ongoing capacity for identifying, prioritizing, and acting on the key direct support workforce issues facing Georgia today and in the future. During the development of the Key Stakeholder Group, the GIDSWD will begin to identify ways to build upon the existing training for direct support professionals (DSPs) which is offered through the community college system. The ultimate goal is to develop career paths rooted in the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) Credentialing Program. Georgia applied for TA to help them achieve the following goals:

  • Develop the capacity to identify, examine, address, and evaluate DSP workforce issues through the stakeholder group.
  • Align Georgia’s Direct Support certificate program with the requirements of the NADSP Accreditation Program so that graduates of the certificate program are eligible for the NADSP credentialing program’s competency level credential, DSP-Certified.
  • Create a sustainable and coordinated database in Georgia on the direct support workforce will be used to inform economic development, legislation, and human resource and labor leadership in the state regarding direct support workforce issues.

The TA provided to Georgia by the DSW Resource Center has focused on supporting these goals. Members of the TA team:

  • Attended an in–person meeting with the Developmental Disabilities (DD) Council, Joy Hopkins, and the state representative to establish goals and timelines of the initiative.
  • Planned an initial stakeholder meeting (this was later canceled due to disagreements between the state and the DD Council on who should attend and the desired outcomes of the meeting).
  • Reviewed their community college training program for DSWs.
  • Completed a crosswalk between their community college training curriculum and the NADSP credentialing competencies.
  • Completed the accreditation application for the NADSP program.

As a result of the TA provided to Georgia, the crosswalk of competencies and accreditation application for the NADSP credentialing program were completed. However, shortly after being awarded TA, the lead state liaison to this project left the Department and the vacancy existed for the majority of the TA grant award. Although the state was committed and wanted the technical assistance, it was difficult to keep moving forward without a staff person devoted to it. The state has recently filled the vacant position and the Office of Developmental Disabilities will continue to work with the DD Council to pursue NADSP accreditation of the program they offer to DSPs. They have also implemented online access to the College of Direct Support in Georgia statewide. As a next step, they are interested in determining how to offer a second pathway to credentialing for DSWs in Georgia.

For More Information Contact:

Rie Kennedy-Lizotte
Program Director for Provider Development
Office of Developmental Disabilities Division of Mental Health/ Developmental Disabilities/Addictive Diseases Department of Human Resources
2 Peachtree Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 657-2286 (ph)
(404) 657-2310 (fx)

Created by: admin. Last Modification: Monday 16 of March, 2009 17:58:54 EDT by admin.

What's New?

The DSW Resource Center closed effective August 31, 2014. The site is being maintained as a static archive of resources through December 2014.

Please visit the CMS Workforce Page (external link) and visit our partners’ websites for additional information on or after December 31, 2014.

Check out the Winter 2014 edition of the DSW Resource Center newslettter!

The DSW Resource Center has published a White Paper summarizing this summer's webinar series.

The US Department of Labor (external link) announced a new rule to the Fair Labor and Standards Act which focuses on guaranteeing minimum wage and overtime for home care workers including those in the Direct Service Workforce. This rule will go into effect January 1, 2015. The DSW Resource Center created a Home Care Rule Page with information and resources related to this announcement.

We released two new Starter Kits for NWD/SEP Systems including ADRCS. Starter Kit for No Wrong Door/ Single Entry Point Systems Working to Strengthen the Home and Community-Based Direct Service Workforce and Starter Kit for NWD/SEPs: Design Considerations for Publicly-Funded Matching Service Registries for Home and Community Services.

We published Coverage of Direct Service Workforce Continuing Education and Training within Medicaid Policy and Rate Setting - A Toolkit which presents strategies and methods for covering the cost of continuing education and training for the DSW.
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