Sharing the Care

Direct Support Professionals (DSP) deliver excellent care every day. Consumer Direct Care Network (CDCN) wants to bring awareness to their amazing work!

Sharing the Care is an ongoing effort to celebrate DSPs. Throughout the year, we will introduce easy ways to show appreciation. With your help, we can recognize DSPs for their amazing work!

The DSP Hero Showcase

The DSP Hero Showcase highlights extraordinary DSPs from throughout our communities. We asked our clients to share what makes their DSP a hero and received many wonderful entries. Below are some of the submissions.

Unstoppable, Above and Beyond
Washington D.C.

What makes your DSP a hero in your community?
My DSP is awesome. She goes above and beyond every day. No matter how she feels, she comes to work with a smile on her face. My DSP is a very hard worker. She listens to me. This young lady has been outstanding. Even when her shift is over, she will still stay and finish up her work. She puts the work in to make sure I have everything that I need no matter how long it takes her to get it done. It is a great pleasure to have this young lady working with me.  She cherishes every moment that she is at work. This is not just a job to her, but it is a passion she shares deep in her heart.

How does your DSP improve your quality of life?
My DSP makes sure I am always okay and understand everything that is going on. She reads everything to me and explains it to me as she goes along. She makes it so easy for me to feel safe and comfortable with the information she gives me when it comes to my health or business matters. She is even teaching me how to do some things on my own, which is fun to do.

Wonder Woman

What makes your DSP a hero in your community?
My DSP is always there when I need her. I’m very afraid to fall because I have broken several bones. My DSP is patient with me, protects me, and makes my life fun at times, which is hard to do because of my mobility. She takes me to lunch and to the library, which I love.

How does your DSP improve your quality of life?
She takes me to places like lunch and the library. Sometimes we go to a movie.

Mrs. Incredible

What makes your DSP a hero in your community?
My DSP not only worked in education for nearly 30 years, but when she retired, she came to my rescue. She worked as a teacher for 15 years at an at-risk school, then she was a vice principal for 11 years. She came out of retirement to help me and has been my caregiver for more than a year. She is super awesome at making sure all my needs are met and the household duties are up to the standard of living I had prior to getting sick. I have high standards for myself, so my DSP goes above and beyond both for the house and me.

How does your DSP improve your quality of life?
If I didn’t have my DSP, I would be in a skilled nursing facility. She fills the gaps that my home nursing team is unable to fill. With her, my house is clean, dishes are washed, my body is clean, my hair is brushed, my face exfoliated, and I am dressed and ready for my day. With her, I have transfer help by my side when I need it. I could not ask for a better DSP.

Wonder Woman
Washington, District of Columbia

What makes your DSP a hero in your community?
My DSP is an amazing person! She is selfless and looks out for the well-being of others. With her help, I’ve been able to get the care my previous primary doctor did not provide for me (like a heart test, colonoscopy, hearing, and the list goes on and on). Since she has been my DSP, I feel safe with her decisions, help, and guidance. My wife calls her my mother because I wholeheartedly trust her decisions. She has been very diligent in learning about my medical conditions and the medication required to maintain my well-being. She is a very hard worker even though she has her own family. In her community, she started a women’s organization to empower women to get back to their authentic selves, and she does this for free. Also, she retired from the military with over 22 years of faithful service. She is a leader!

How does your DSP improve your quality of life?
My DSP is also my daughter, and she is such a special person because she gives so much of herself to make sure I am well. As a father, I did my best in raising my two children, but she always had a beautiful light that shined around her. I cannot take credit for the outcome because I did not always do what I needed to do, but she took what I planted in her and grew into a virtuous woman.

At an early age, I was drafted into the Army and deployed to the Vietnam War. My return home was not without challenges because I was full of anger, an alcoholic, and a smoker. I’ve learned my issue wasn’t anger. It is now diagnosed as PTSD. I vented my frustrations towards my family and was not easy to live with. When I look at her now, I am so thankful for God’s grace and mercy that He touched her heart to forgive me. I believe my health would be worse if she hadn’t stepped in to help me. That is why I am nominating my daughter for the DSP Hero Showcase. DSPs are so special because they have families and other things to do, and on top of it all, they care for those in need.

How has she been a service to me?
She is very innovative because she has created ways for me to exercise and safely take showers.

Example 1: She started with me walking in the house two times back and forth and gradually increased it. After we got to a certain point, she shifted me to walking outdoors, in the parks, up the stairs, etc. This was simply amazing because I’d gotten to the point of being afraid to go outdoors due to health issues. Every step of the way, she manages to get what I need, when I need it.

Example 2: I used to be afraid to bathe and shower. With her innovation, I can bathe, with help, but I am not fearful like before and I feel like a million bucks every time she helps me. She put a shower chair in the shower for balance, replaced the shower head with one that extends, disinfected my rollator, and placed it in the bathroom to allow me to sit while I prepare to shower.

The Amazing Traits of DSPs

In August 2022, we kicked off Sharing the Care by asking the people we serve nationwide to submit DSP Amazing Traits.  Hundreds of people shared their gratitude for DSPs and the essential services they provide.

To showcase the submissions, we created the DSP Amazing Traits word cloud below. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this collaborative project.


CDCN is committed to recognizing DSPs and the vital work they do within their communities. Sharing the Care is one way we can show DSPs our appreciation for their work.