Employment and Community First CHOICES Workforce QuILTSS Initiative Survey 2019: Year Two Report


2019 Direct Support Workforce State Overview

Organization Characteristics

30% of services are provided in the East region, 41% in the Middle region, and 29% in the West region. Services from 74 organizations are provided in 4,587 service sites, including 54% family or individual homes, 23% agency or facility sites, 16% job sites, and 7% other sites. 12,752 people received services, and 12,975 DSPs, 1,182 FLSs, 667 managers, 1,046 administrative, and 1,750 other employees than those previously listed were employed.

DSP Employment

Of the 12,975 direct support professionals (DSPs) employed in 74 organizations, 3% were on call or temporary employees, 9% were not distinguished between full-time or part-time, 27% were part-time, and 61% were full-time. 47% of DSPs in 66 organizations worked across more than one service type. Service types may include ECF Choices, DIDD Waiver, Vocational Rehabilitation, and CHOICES (Non-ECF Choices).

DSP Vacancy

The overall vacancy rate for DSPs in 69 organizations was 13%. 19% of part-time positions and 13% of full-time positions were vacant.

DSP Turnover

Overall, there was 47% annual DSP turnover in 69 organizations reporting. Of those DSPs who left their positions in 2019, 53% left within 0-6 months of hire, and 33% left within 6-12 months of hire. The top three reasons for DSP departure were: 69% “found another job at another company,” 56% “no call/no show,” and 39% “was terminated/fired.”

DSP Wages

71 organizations reported wage data. The average hourly starting DSP wage was $9.88, the average hourly DSP wage was $10.56, and the highest DSP wage was $13.11. 15% of organizations paid DSPs different wages across service types.

DSP Benefits

On average, 34% of DSPs in an organization were enrolled in health care plans. For full-time DSPs, 57% of organizations offered paid time off, 26% offered sick leave, 30% offered paid vacation, and 81% offered health insurance. For part-time DSPs, 15% of organizations offered paid time off, 4% offered sick leave, 9% offered paid vacation, and 21% offered health insurance. Organizations that were unable to distinguish between part- and full-time DSPs answered for “all DSPs.” For all DSPs, 28% of organizations offered paid time off, 15% offered sick leave, 23% offered paid vacation, and 61% offered health insurance.


A total of 186,739 hours of overtime were paid out to DSPs in the last 30 days.

FLS Wages

The average starting frontline supervisor (FLS) annual salary was $31,187. The average FLS annual salary was $34,670. The highest FLS annual salary was $42,654.

FLS Turnover

There was 25% overall annual FLS turnover in 57 organizations reporting. Of those FLSs who left their positions in 2019, 29% of FLSs left within 0-6 months of hire, and 28% left within 6-12 months of hire.

FLS Vacancy

The overall vacancy rate for FLSs in 56 organizations was 13%.