September 11–17 is National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week, an opportunity to thank and recognize the hardworking individuals who act as first responders for the state’s most vulnerable residents and their families.
Direct Care Workers provide much-needed personal care, training, emotional support, and respite to an estimated 100,000 Michigan individuals with intellectual and/or physical disabilities.
“The quality care provided by Direct Care workers often goes unnoticed but is literally the lifeline for so many Michiganders with disabilities,” said Todd Culver of Incompass Michigan. “We owe our Direct Care Workers a tremendous amount of gratitude for all they do for those they care for, this week and all year round.”
“The Direct Care industry is in crisis and Michigan’s most vulnerable are the ones paying the price,” said Robert Stein of the Michigan Assisted Living Association. “We must remember just how critical the support of Direct Care Workers is to Michigan families and work with our leaders to keep them on the job.”
Michigan’s Direct Care Workers are severely underpaid, making less money than many fast-food workers, but with significantly greater responsibility.
“The stakes are high for Michigan families who rely on Direct Care support,” said Sherri Boyd of The Arc—Michigan. “Time is long overdue to actually recognize these essential support staff by properly paying them. Some progress has been made but prioritizing funding to pay for care of those in need is the way to truly honor this valuable workforce.”