Our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are of the highest quality and are focused on supporting individuals in the activities and events they enjoy in the community.
We're Selective When Hiring
We use a thoroughly researched survey to measure each applicant's personality traits, values and attitudes against those identified in the industry as traits unique to top performing DSPs.
Through this improved screening and selection, combined with our training and development, we see greater career satisfaction in our DSPs and improved consumer satisfaction.
Further, we've checked to ensure our staff has the following:
- A clear criminal background
- A good driving record, including current driver's license and insurance
We believe in giving our employees the right tools to be successful - beginning with their first day on the job and coaching along the way. We are committed to initial and ongoing training that gives our staff the tools to successful supporting people with disabilities.
First Year of Employment Trainings:
Within their first year, new employees complete in-class, online, and on the job training. Our approach is customized to train each DSP in best practices for service delivery - tailored by disability type. This allows our staff to connect to the persons they will support in a meaningful way. Included in those trainings are the following:
- Code of Ethics
- Person First Philosophy
- Mandatory Child and Dependent Adult Abuse Training
In each year following, DSPs complete at least 26 hours of training.
These web-based courses are based on researched best practices from industry specific skills instrumental for professional development and growth. Our DSPs use the following colleges when working within their respective service delivery areas:
- The College of Direct Support (ID/D)
This set of courses are designed for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and others who support individuals with disabilities. This flexible coursework is designed to connect them with a nationally recognized set of skills and a clear career path, and to celebrate their important role in helping the people they support toward developing richer, more fulfilling lives.
- The College of Employment Services
This is an integrated curriculum designed for professionals who support people with disabilities and other challenges to find employment. The courses connect professionals with a nationally recognized set of competencies for their field, offers a clear career path, as well as celebrates the role employment support professionals play in society.
- The College of Recovery & Community Inclusion
This integrated curriculum is designed for community mental health practitioners. The self-directed courses focus on helping this critical workforce respond to the unique needs of people with mental health conditions.
FranklinCovey Certified Trainers on Site
- All staff have the opportunity to attend the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Workshop and the 5 CHOICES to Extraordinary Outcomes free of charge – both products of FranklinCovey.
Code of Ethics
Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who support people in their communities are called upon to make independent judgments on a daily basis that involve both practical and ethical reasoning. The whole landscape of a person's life can change with the coming and going of these critical supports for people.
That's why we follow the National Alliance for Direct Support Professional's Code of Ethics to assist our staff in their important role. This code is not the handbook of the profession, but rather a roadmap to assist us in staying the course of securing freedom, justice, and equality for all.
Recognition & Honors
Each month we recognize an outstanding DSP within EPI.
Three (3) DSPs have been recognized nationally with the distinction of Iowa DSP of the Year (a recognition program organized by ANCOR)
We employ two (2) Certified Employment Support Professionals (less than 50 currently hold this certification in Iowa)
We employ several Certified Brain Injury Specialists (CBIS). A nationally recognized credential earned through the Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists based on comprehensive training covering effective treatment approaches, children and adolescents with a brain injury, legal and ethical issues and more