Frontline Initiative Code of Ethics
First things first:
Current NADSP initiatives
Last spring a contingent from the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) went to Washington D.C. to speak with the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) regarding the future of the field of direct support. They came armed with information and materials about the next great things for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs); college degrees, national credentialing; recognition and awards; apprenticeship programs and the like. Turns out, what ADD wanted to discuss was not next things, but first things.
The question posed was, “How can we celebrate the advancement of direct support when you can’t even keep our loved ones safe?”
There has been an outbreak of mistreatment, neglect, and exploitation, or, unprecedented attention to a longstanding problem; you decide. Eleven years ago, NADSP developed a Code of Ethics. Over the years, individuals, organizations, policy makers, and fields of study have adopted the Code. As is stated in the Preamble, “There is no other position today in which ethical practice and standards are more important than direct support.” DSPs hold lives in their hands.
NADSP’s challenge to DSPs is to do the right thing even when no one is looking. To help promote this challenge, NADSP now offers Code of Ethics bracelets. DSPs can use them to declare their character, to make a statement about their values, and take a stand against mistreatment, neglect, and exploitation. Organizations have numerous ways they can use the Code of Ethics bracelets to recognize excellence in the most important members of their organization —
- Catch someone doing the right thing, and reward him or her with the matching Code of Ethics bracelet.
- Employees of the month, quarter, year.
- Let family members and persons being supported award bracelets.
- Set up benchmarks for your DSPs to earn bracelets.
- Create value in striving to earn all nine bracelets.
NADSP also offers Code of Ethics posters and handouts, and technical assistance to embed the Code in your organization. Go to nadsp.org/library/code-of-ethics. html for more information. Let’s take care of first things first!