Altus Dynamics Blog

What Makes a Great Direct Support Professional?

Posted by Stefanie Gause on Oct 14, 2015 9:21:00 AM

community_living_handshake Your Direct Support Professionals collaborate one-on-one with members of the community who are facing personal or social crises. A high turnover rate in this field only emphasizes the importance of finding talented workers and retaining them. The right skills, proper certification and ongoing training help you employ and retain great Direct Support Professionals.


Because Direct Support Professionals workers interact with those in need, the following interpersonal skills are essential:

  • These workers need to be able to communicate effectively and offer compassionate and empathetic support for their clients, even under challenging circumstances.

  • Great Direct Support Professionals are well-organized and able to balance multiple projects at once.

  • They have strong problem-solving skills that allow them to find achievable and customized solutions for each client.

  • Due to the sensitivity of many cases that support workers deal with, these individuals should also be comfortable working under pressure and under difficult circumstances.

These skills help Direct Support Professionals excel in a variety of community-living environments, including assisted-living facilities. In addition, a strong support staff and effective employee management can help maximize their support-working efforts and skills.


Successful Direct Support Professionals hold certifications in their field, which allow them to excel in any organization. Being CPR-certified and experienced in first aid allows them to react properly in an emergency. Holding a valid state or provincial driver's license is important too, since community-support workers may need to travel when they are on the job. It's your organization's responsibility to track these certifications and ensure their on-time renewal to avoid any unnecessary lapses.

Training and Support

Maximizing the skills of Direct Support Professionals starts with you. Ongoing training, such as seminars or web-based courses, allows these workers to broaden their skill set and deliver effective care and guidance for their clients. Because your support workers are purpose-driven, it's important to find ways to show the impact of their support and recognize their accomplishments. Finally, simplifying basic job tasks like tracking and accessing client data allows Direct Support Professionals to thrive, which can benefit your organization.

Successful Direct Support Professionals show genuine compassion toward their clients. They work diligently to deliver the care and resources needed to improve their clients' lives. By seeking out workers with these attributes, managing community support workers will be an easier task.

Need help keeping track of employee certifications and qualifications? Check out this free guide: Effortless Employee Management for Community Living and Human Services Organizations to learn how to better manage employee data and much more.

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This Post Was Written By Stefanie Gause
Stefanie has always had a passion for the non-profit and public sectors with several years of experience in the education, assisted living, and social services industries.
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