Bancroft Direct Support Professional standing with girl in a teal blue room.

What is a DSP?

What is a DSP?

Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are caregivers who work with people with physical or intellectual/developmental disabilities, helping them with daily activities and supporting them in integrating into the community and achieving greater levels of independence.  

But they’re so much more than that. 
Female paraprofessional in a white shirt interacts with a female resident in a black shirt

At Bancroft, our 2,000 DSPs are the heart of what we do. They’re the lifeblood of the care and services we provide. 

You know them by a variety of titles: Program Associate, Job Coach, Group Room Supervisor, Activities Specialist (and so many others) – but no matter what we call them, their work is the same: To help the people they support live full and happy lives; to empower them to live their best lives. From the moment a person wakes up, to the moment they close their eyes at night (and even while they sleep), DSPs are there. 

They are cooks. Appointment-setters. Drivers. Companions. Advocates, cheerleaders and supporters. They help men and women living with disabilities learn job skills, social skills and life skills – and to master those skills independently. They create bonds with and earn the trust of those they serve, and their families… and sometimes, they become like family themselves. 

They learn what makes each individual happy — from the things they like to eat, to the activities they love to do and places they like to go. They help give a voice to those who can’t speak. They find new and exciting ways to engage the people they’re working with… to learn what makes them smile, and to learn how to comfort them and work through the difficult moments.

Female paraprofessional helping a young woman put her green winter jacket in the closet.
A paraprofessional in a maroon shirt and a student in a striped shirt, jeans, and helmet play together and hold hands

They work side-by-side with those in their care to lend a hand in whatever life throws their way – on the good days, and the bad. They see the good in people, and they do their best to find a way to make every day – even the tough ones – a good day. It’s not an easy career… but the rewards are tremendous. 

Today…and every day…we give thanks for the amazing work they do, and the difference they make in the lives of those we serve. 

Join our team!

Working here takes special people who are caring and committed. We are always looking for people to join our team.

Light-skinned man in a plaid shirt and blue hat holds a football and smiles with a man in a gray sweatshirt

Related Articles

with Bancroft

The #GivingTuesday movement was created to unite us all in a day of generosity, to make a difference in the world through donations to organizations we care about at the start of the holiday season.