Recruiting, Selecting, and Retaining Direct Service Workers to Provide Self-Directed HCBS

Lesson Review

1. Listen

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2. Read

In this lesson, you learned about:

  • DSW pay and compensation
  • Record keeping and monitoring your self-directed supports and budget
  • Time and activity sheets

For questions or more information about the topics in this lesson, reach out to your supports broker, consultant, or counselor.

3. Scenario

Roberta is surprised by how much she has to think about when paying her DSWs.  The fiscal agency that Roberta will use to manage payroll has sent a spreadsheet to use for planning her budget.  The spreadsheet makes it easier because it takes care of adding in all of the taxes and other employment costs.  All Roberta has to do is enter the number of hours and how much the DSW will be paid an hour.  Roberta starts by making a list of all the tasks she needs a DSW to do.  She has to decide how many hours that will take.  She also has to decide what to pay.  If you were Roberta, how would you make the decision about what to pay staff? 

What would you do?
An elderly Black woman. She is wearing glasses, a white t-shirt, and smiling.

Roberta knows that if she is able to pay more per hour, it might be easier to find and keep staff.  But she also has to have enough support hours to meet her needs.  Roberta starts by making a list of what kind of help she needs.  She lists the things that only DSWs will do.  She makes a list of other places where she might get some of the support she needs.  For example, her church helps people who need rides get to church activities and a local grocery store sends a shuttle to give people rides to the store.

Roberta has an idea of how many hours of support she needs each week from DSWs.  Roberta wants to try to keep good DSWs as long as possible, so she wants to make sure she can offer them raises.  She uses all of this information to decide her starting wage.  It’s not as much as she wanted to pay, but it gives her enough hours to meet her needs with some informal supports.  Roberta also hopes that because she has more hours available it might attract a DSW even if the pay isn’t as much as she wanted.