Over the course of the past few years I have facilitated dozens, if not hundreds, of Direct Support Professional Public Forums all around the country. During these sessions Direct Support Professionals are given the rare opportunity to talk about their craft and their noble profession in an open and non judgmental yet facilitated manner. Generally there is a topic or theme that start the sessions and often the DSPs expand and dialog well past our allotted time for the session. We often hate to end these rich and wonderful conversations, but DSPs must get back to their "shifts".
Almost always there is mention of "The Paycheck People". From California to NY. North Dakota to Texas......DSPs speak of the "Paycheck People". It sounds like a lost tribe of humans who wander from agency to agency...provider to provider in search of the holy paycheck. Well, I suppose it is not far from that, this notion of "The Paycheck People".
DSPs will describe these folks as doing direct support work at the bare minimum standard. DSPPs (Direct Support Paycheck People) are seemingly in all organizations and are the staff who no one seems to like. They are staff who DO NOT know the people they support. They are often staff who bring morale and spirits down. They are staff who are NOT following and abiding to the policies of the organization, the rules of the game and often will be the texters, cell phone users, sleepers and late-comers.....oh, the Paycheck People are known to call out frequently, often around this time of year....the holidays....(I guess they have to spend the money they are getting).....
One more thing...Paycheck People do not follow one of the main tenets in the NADSP Code of Ethics; Integrity and Responsibility. It appears to me that if the Paycheck People begin to follow this part of the Code, then we will all be well. If Direct Support Professionals deny this ethical obligation, then we must do all in our legal and moral power to remove them from our field. If you have some paycheck people running around (they probably don't do much of that) but figuratively if they are running around your organization, then get them out!!! I will close this entry with the hallowed code of Integrity and Responsibility.
As a DSP, I will support the mission and vitality of my profession to assist people in leading self-directed lives and to foster a spirit of partnership with the people I support, other professionals, and the community.
As a DSP, I will:
- Be conscious of my own values and how they influence my professional decisions.
- Maintain competency in my profession through learning and ongoing communication with others.
- Assume responsibility and accountability for my decisions and actions.
- Actively seek advice and guidance on ethical issues from others as needed when making decisions.
- Recognize the importance of modeling valued behaviors to co-workers, persons receiving support, and the community at-large.
- Practice responsible work habits.