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Nisonger Institute 2018

Amy Hewitt, PhD, FAAIDD
Director, Research and Training Center on Community Living, MN LEND, MNADDM, Institute on Community
University of Minnesota

The Direct Support Workforce: A crisis or serious systems flaw?

For nearly 30 years turnover rates have been about 50% and vacancy rates about 5% in community
services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For nearly 30
years we have been calling this a crisis. It’s more than a crisis. It’s a deep and widely ignored
systems flaw that is now getting more attention because of the shrinking pool of candidates from
which employers can choose. There are solutions. Messages need to change and our policy makers and
elected officials need to be held accountable. This session will provide data based observations
about the problem, identify solutions and suggest key messages and actions for resolution.

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