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

What Sort of Person Am I Looking For?

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Before you hire someone,  you need to know what kind of person you want to work for you!

Hiring a DSW requires some planning prior to recruitment. It is important to consider early on what supports and related skills you need. Having the right attitude can be as important as practical skills.  Click below for some points to consider as you begin recruiting DSWs. 

People you hire should see you as a person, not a disability. Defining someone by their disability reduces people to categories. Person-centered practices honor your rights and choices. Good DSWs focus on your strengths, challenges, and goals. They provide support that focuses on helping you to be as independent as possible so you can achieve your goals.  

People you hire should listen to you and respect your choices and preferences. When and how you like your supports provided, the food you eat, the places you go, and the people you spend time with are all up to you. A DSW should listen to you, understand you, and respect your choices.

The American with Disabilities Act and the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision   support the rights of people with disabilities.  This means people with disabilities have the right to receive supports in their communities. These supports may help you with work, living in your own home, or taking part in activities that are important to you.

People who want to make their own decisions about their lives need accurate and complete information when making choices. DSWs can support you in learning about options in day-to-day decisions. This includes specific ways to solve problems. DSWs can help you weigh the risks and benefits of daily decisions, such as where you go, what you do, and who you spend time with.

DSWs should respect your gender identity, sexuality, race, nationality, religion, the language you speak, and your culture. You should be able to receive supports when and how you wish and choose the foods you eat, the traditions you follow, and how you want to participate in your community.