Frontline Initiative: Supporting Healthy Relationships

Direct Support Professionals: Friends or friendly?
A deeper look into a difficult question


Rachel Jacob is the art director at the Arc Mid-Hudson’s Cornell Creative Arts Center  in Kingston, NY. She is also the Regional Centers for Workforce Transformation regional lead for the Mid-Hudson Valley. She can be reached at

Many Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) consider themselves to be "friends" with the people they support. Given today’s easy access to social media and communication technology, DSPs may also consider “friending” the people they support on these online social media platforms. Is this the ultimate form of inclusion and person-centered practices? Or is this potentially unprofessional and unethical behavior?

The webinar Direct Support Professionals: Friends or Friendly? A Deeper Look Into a Difficult Question explores this highly controversial and complicated topic while providing —

  • Several different perspectives.
  • Competency and ethics-based information.
  • A variety of tools, resources, and approaches to supporting healthy and professional relationships.