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2015 Claymont Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year, Abigail Jones, was honored at the Ability Network of Delaware‘s 8th Annual Direct Support Professionals Day with the 2017 Adeana Copeland Advocate Award, for her outstanding work at Elwyn Delaware. Abigail was one of 5 professionals honored for her outstanding service.
Direct support professionals (DSPs) are caregivers, personal assistants, peers, counselors, and direct care or home care aides.
They provide support services for the many Delawareans with disabilities. These DSPs are integral in helping people with disabilities participate in their communities and lead full and independent lives. DSPs have some of the most difficult and taxing jobs but are historically underpaid for their services. With an increase in the minimum wage, it is becoming more difficult to keep DSPs employed in our member agencies, as they are leaving to seek employment in other sectors such as food service for more money and less stress. It is critical we not only compensate them adequately but express our gratitude for their dedication and service.
Since 2010, the Ability Network of Delaware (A.N.D.) and its members have organized an annual recognition celebration for these hardworking and incredibly important professionals. Each year we ask our members to nominate any DSP worthy of special recognition. Five winners (based on member voting) receive awards after garnering the majority vote under the categories of leader, advocate, peer, star, and community excellence. In addition to the luncheon and awards ceremony, we also provide a wellness expo with vendors who offer services and programs that will benefit the health, family support, and education of DSPs.
Direct Support Professionals Day is held at the beginning of September each year.
Check out Abby’s Direct Support Professionals Day 2017 Honoree Video Here.
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