Support DSPs - Toolkit

Our DSPs need your support — and now is the time to speak out!

Bancroft is one of dozens of disability support organizations joining with the Coalition for a DSP Living Wage to advocate for $54 million in funding in New Jersey’s FY2020 budget – which would help secure competitive wages reflective of the skill and responsibility demonstrated by our DSPs every day.

You know firsthand the impact direct support professionals have on the daily lives of your loved one…better than anyone else. We ask that on your loved one’s behalf – and on behalf of those caring for them – you act now!

Talking points from Coalition for a DSP Living Wage

Ways to Support

Attend the Rally – Monday, May 13th

The DSP Coalition will Rally at the New Jersey State House in Trenton on Monday, May 13. Bring your friends, families, colleagues and anyone else who wants to see a sustainable DSP workforce!

Event Details

Email state lawmakers – 5 Minutes

If you’re unable to testify in person, please consider submitting written comments explaining to legislators why it’s important to YOU that state lawmakers invest $54 million in FY2020 to raise DSP wages.

Use the sample letter below.

Please submit your comments to sdaniels@njleg.org and forward a copy to Libby Vinson (libby@absnj.com). Libby is helping coordinate the advocacy efforts for the Coalition for DSP Living Wage that Bancroft works directly with. 

Speak out on Social Media – 2 Minutes

Below is a social media toolkit you can use to make your voice heard on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Share – and encourage others to do the same!

Sample Letter

I am a [DSP, family member of an individual with a disability, someone who works with individuals with disabilities…] and I am writing to ask for your support of $54 million in additional funding to support a permanent increase in wages for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) in New Jersey.

DSPs are often integral caregivers to NJ residents with intellectual or developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injury, and other similar disabilities. The demand for qualified DSPs in New Jersey is well short of the demand resulting in a severe staffing crisis – with demand projected to increase dramatically.  Today nearly 44% of DSPs leave their jobs, resulting in a State-wide vacancy rate of approximately 20%. The impact on the individuals served and their families is dramatic; anxiety, regression of the gains achieved, time away from work for family members, and increased stress for all involved, to name a few. The average DSP in New Jersey starts at $11.00 per hour, and often work more than one job. Approximately 40% of full-time DSPs are also on one or more form of public assistance.  Change needs to happen TODAY and starts with you!

The Coalition for a DSP Living Wage supports a DSP wage rate that is 25% above the State minimum wage, reflective of their level of responsibilities and support of often complex medical needs and behavioral plans. They require ongoing training, compliance with a multitude of regulatory demands, and, of course, there is an emotional and physical support they provide every minute of every day.  This is not a “minimum wage” job – – it is so much more.

Please support the appropriation of $54 million in FY2020 to support a permanent increase in the wages of New Jersey’s DSPs.  Thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration and support.

Social Tools

Feel free to copy & paste the sample posts below – or use them as the basis for your own! For the greatest impact, remember to:  

– Share your WHY! The more personal a connection you can show, the better.
– Include a photo of your loved one – and talk about the impact DSPs have had on his/her life and your family.
– Be sure to include the suggested hashtags – and tag Bancroft & the Coalition for a DSP Living Wage.

Sample Tweets

Current length is up to 280 characters. This translates into approximately 22-29 words. 

  1. DSPs enable thousands of NJ residents with disabilities live a more fullfilling, happy life. Their work is #NotMinWageWork – it’s critical, complex and life-changing work. #SupportDSPs with $54 million in FY2020! #PayFair4DirectCare @GovMurphy @NJSenatePres @SpeakerCoughlin   
  2. DSPs are a lifeline for those with autism & intellectual disabilities and their families – families like mine! It’s #NotMinWageWork. @GovMurphy @NJSenatePres @SpeakerCoughlin #SupportDSPs and support $54 million to #PayFair4DirectCare in FY2020. 
  3. Caring for those w/ disabilities is #NotMinWageWork – it takes compassion & skill worth more than any amount of money. It’s time for NJ to #SupportDSPs who provide this critical care by supporting $54 million for a #DSPLivingWage in FY2020. #PayFair4DirectCare

 

Sample Facebook/Instagram Posts

  1. A DSP is so much more than a caretaker… they’re a lifeline for thousands of men, women and children with autism and intellectual or developmental disabilities. It’s far from minimum-wage work – and deserves more than minimum-wage pay! Today, I’m joining the call for a #DSPLivingWage that reflects the value of the service and skill they provide, and asking the New Jersey Legislature to approve $54 million to support higher DSP wages in FY2020. #PayFair4DirectCare
  2. This is [NAME OF LOVED ONE]. He/she is one of thousands of individuals with disabilities in New Jersey cared for with the help of a Direct Support Professional. Our family knows firsthand the impact a DSP makes – and we know it’s #NotMinWageWork! We’re joining the call for a #DSPLivingWage and $54 million in the state’s budget to support increased DSP wages in FY2020. #PayFair4DirectCare
  3. Direct Support Professionals enable thousands of individuals with disabilities in New Jersey to live happier, more fulfilling lives. Their work is #NotMinWageWork – it’s critical, complex and life-changing, and it deserves a living wage. I’m asking the New Jersey Legislature to #SupportDSPs and families like mine by allocating $54 million to enhance DSP wages in FY2020. #PayFair4DirectCare

Hashtags 

#PayFair4DirectCare #NotMinWageWork #DSPLivingWage #SupportDSPs #54millionforDSPs

Tag Bancroft:

Tag the Coalition for a DSP Living Wage: