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

Ideas for Boosting Recruitment

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Offering incentives or other learning opportunities that benefit potential DSWs may be one way to find people to work for you.  Be sure and check with your fiscal agency or case manager about what is allowed in your state!

You also need to think about whether you can afford to use part of your budget to provide incentives or rewards when recruiting DSWs. Some common ways that some people use to recruit DSWs are explained below.  If you want to use any of these ideas, you can add them to your Recruitment Plan Worksheet

This means giving a financial reward to a new DSW.  Common times to give hiring bonuses are after the DSW completes orientation and training, at six months, and at 12 months.  Check with your fiscal agency, case manager, or service coordinator to see what is allowed under your state’s Medicaid plan.

Paid or unpaid work or volunteer opportunities offered through work-study or other programs can be a source of DSWs.  Often, students seeking careers in health and human services need experience providing supports to people. Connecting with the people who run these programs may help you find DSWs. 

Some people have a DSW back-up plan with one or more DSWs who are able to fill-in for their regular DSWs when they are unable to work.  Back-up DSWs are already trained and understand your support needs. They may be interested in replacing your primary DSWs if they leave their position.  Having back-up DSWs can also help with the recruitment of DSWs because it will be easier for them to take planned or unplanned time off.