Direct Support Staff Roles & Responsibilities

Direct Supports are a range of activities that contribute to the health and well-being of the person and his or her ability to live in or be part of the community. Direct support activities may include personal assistance or activities that support personal development, or activities that support personal well-being. Direct support activities include the following:

Personal Assistance

Assistance provided to a person in performing tasks the person would normally perform if the person did not have his or her disability. Personal assistance may include guiding, directing or overseeing the performance of self-care and self-management of activities.

Support With Self-Care

Includes assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, mobility, personal hygiene, and other activities of daily living; assistance with light housework, laundry, meal preparation, transportation, grocery shopping, and assistance with health and nutrition maintenance, including assessing well-being and identifying need for medical assistance; complying with nutritional requirements as specified in the Personal Plan; administration of non-prescription medication that are ordinarily self-administered; and administration of prescription medication, when provided by a person legally authorized to assist with the administration of medication.

Self-Management

Includes assistance with managing safe and responsible behavior; exercising judgment with respect to the person’s health and well-being; communication, including conveying information, interpreting information, and advocating in the person’s interests; managing money including paying bills, making choices on how to spend money, keeping receipts, and expending funds with the permission of a person’s representative payee. Self-management also includes teaching coping skills, giving emotional support and guidance to other resources the person may need to access.

Activities Supporting Personal Development

Includes teaching or modeling for the person self-care and self-management skills, physical fitness, behavior management; sensory, motor and psychological needs; interpersonal skills to cultivate supportive personal, family, work and community relationships; resources and opportunities for participation in activities to promote social and community engagement; participation in spiritual activities of the person’s choice; motivating the pursuit of personal development and opportunities; teaching or modeling informed choice by gathering information and practicing decision making; and learning to exercise.

Activities Supporting Personal Well-Being

Include directly or indirectly intervening to promote the health and well-being of the person. This may include identifying risks such as risk of abuse, participating in a person’s risk assessment, identifying and reporting to an immediate supervisor changes in health status and behavior; anticipating or preventing unsafe or destructive behavior; and safely intervening against undesirable behavior according to an intervention plan.