SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Direct Support Professionals provide care to those with intellectual or developmental disabilities. That workforce is seeing a 60% turnover rate. Executive Vice President of The Arc of the Ozarks, Tim Dygon said it’s largely because the median wage in the field, nationwide, is $9.71. With minimum wage rising in Missouri, he said unless the government allocates more money, they will see even more of a shortage in caregivers.
“Our DPS staff, nationwide, 52% are on public assistance programs,” Dygon said. “32% are on medicaid and 31% receive food stamps. So really, raising the wages really makes sense, right? So, we’re taking medicaid money to work with people with disabilities and then employing people to be on medicaid. It doesn’t make sense. Raising the wages would not only help taxpayers, it would help people with disabilities and all the providers that work so hard to make sure that they’re taken care of.”