Frontline Initiative International
The Real Scoop
Welcome to The Real Scoop. Clifford is a self-advocate who has been politically active for years. He’s ready to give you his spin on how to deal with issues that come up as you forge ahead in your role as a Direct Support Professional. Seth is a Direct Support Professional who loves to give advice. He has been a DSP for too many years to count. He may give you a hard time, but hey, it’s for your own good! Clifford and Seth tackle this one with just a few suggestions. How would you handle this situation?
Dear Clifford and Seth, Our Division Director recently indicated that he did not want to hold staff meetings with DSPs. He said he didn’t want to deal with what he called “complaint sessions.” This makes me feel like I am not a valued or respected member of the organization for which I work. How can I express my suggestions and legitimate concerns to management under these circumstances? — Anonymous
Your Division Director does not show respect for you, the person receiving supports, or the organization by not holding staff meetings. You should remind him that listening to your concerns is part of his responsibility and that it is very crucial for you, the consumer, and him, to be able to voice your concerns. Remind him that you are the closest contact to those you provide supports and that staff meetings can be a very valuable means for improving the quality of service delivery.
A Division Director who doesn’t want to meet with frontline workers is not looking out for the best interests of the people seeking the agency’s services. It sounds like he is afraid to face the realities of situations DSPs face every day. Your Division Director may feel threatened when confronted in a group setting. I suggest having a DSPonly meeting where all legitimate concerns are documented, then elect one DSP to request a meeting with your Division Director to address them in a one-to-one meeting. Hopefully, your Division Director will begin to trust and respect the workers who are closest to the consumer. Let me know how it goes.