The New Jersey Department of Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson announced on Thursday that wage increases totaling $36 million have taken effect for direct support professionals who work with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to help them live successfully in communities across New Jersey.
The announcement comes during Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, which runs from Sept. 8 to 14.
This is the second consecutive year reimbursement rates to community providers of developmental disability services have increased to raise wages for direct support professionals. The wage increases were included in the state budget signed by Governor Phil Murphy and approved by the Legislature. The size of the wage increase per employee is based on factors such as agency pay scales and services provided.
“Direct support professionals play a vital role in helping individuals with disabilities live successfully in communities across the state,” said Johnson. “Their commitment to the individuals they serve has led to better lives for many New Jerseyans. We value the work of direct support professionals and are pleased to announce these wage increases.”
“Our direct support professionals provide exemplary and critical support to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Human Services deputy commissioner Sarah Adelman. “They dedicate their lives toward empowering individuals with disabilities, which is why we’re pleased to be able to announce this increase for these invaluable workers.”
To mark Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, Human Services Assistant Commissioner Jonathan Seifried, who directs Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities, visited The Arc of Camden County, where he praised direct support professionals and presented them with a proclamation from Gov. Murphy.
New Jersey Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities provides supportive services to about 24,000 adult individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including employment, housing and community engagement. To thrive in the community, many individuals depend on the support provided by direct professionals who ensure that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are achieving their personal goals.
“Direct Support Professionals provide a broad range of support, while developing strong, trusting relationships with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Seifried. “They make a tremendous difference in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”