1. Person-Centered Supports:

As a DSP, my first allegiance is to the person I support; all other activities and functions I perform flow from this allegiance.
As a DSP, I will:

  • Recognize that each person must direct his or her own life and support and that the unique social network, circumstances, personality, preferences, needs and gifts of each person I support must be the primary for guide the selection, structure, and use of supports for that individual.
  • Commit to person-centered supports as best practice.
  • Provide advocacy when the needs of the system override those of the individual(s) I support, or when individual preferences, needs or gifts are neglected for other reasons.
  • Honor the personality, preferences, culture and gifts of people who cannot speak by seeking other ways of understanding them.
  • Focus first on the person, and understand that my role in direct supports will require flexibility, creativity and commitment.

2. Promoting Physical and Emotional Well-Being:

As a DSP, I am responsible for supporting the emotional, physical, and personal well-being of the individuals receiving support. I will encourage growth and recognize the autonomy of the individuals receiving support while being attentive and energetic in reducing their risk of harm.
As a DSP, I will:

  • Develop a relationship with the people I support that is respectful, based on mutual trust, and that maintains professional boundaries.
  • Assist the individuals I support to understand their options and the possible consequences of these options as they relate to their physical health and emotional well-being.
  • Promote and protect the health, safety, and emotional well-being of an individual by assisting the person in preventing illness and avoiding unsafe activity. I will work with the individual and his or her support network to identify areas of risk and to create safeguards specific to these concerns.
  • Know and respect the values of the people I support and facilitate their expression of choices related to those values.
  • Challenge others, including support team members (e.g. doctors, nurses, therapists, co-workers, family members) to recognize and support the rights of individuals to make informed decisions even when these decisions involve personal risk.
  • Be vigilant in identifying, discussing with others, and reporting any situation in which the individuals I support are at risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation or harm.
  • Consistently address challenging behaviors proactively, respectfully, and by avoiding the use of aversive or deprivation intervention techniques. If these techniques are included in an approved support plan I will work diligently to find alternatives and will advocate for the eventual elimination of these techniques from the person’s plan.

3. Integrity and Responsibility:

As a DSP, I will support the mission and vitality of my profession to assist people in leading self-directed lives and to foster a spirit of partnership with the people I support, other professionals, and the community.
As a DSP, I will:

  • Be conscious of my own values and how they influence my professional decisions.
  • Maintain competency in my profession through learning and ongoing communication with others.
  • Assume responsibility and accountability for my decisions and actions.
  • Actively seek advice and guidance on ethical issues from others as needed when making decisions.
  • Recognize the importance of modeling valued behaviors to co-workers, persons receiving support, and the community at-large.
  • Practice responsible work habits.

4. Confidentiality:

As a DSP, I will safeguard and respect the confidentiality and privacy of the people I support.
As a DSP, I will:

  • Seek information directly from those I support regarding their wishes in how, when and with whom privileged information should be shared.
  • Seek out a qualified individual who can help me clarify situations where the correct course of action is not clear.
  • Recognize that confidentiality agreements with individuals are subject to state and agency regulations.
  • Recognize that confidentiality agreements with individuals should be broken if there is imminent harm to others or to the person I support.

5. Justice, Fairness & Equity:

As a DSP, I will promote and practice justice, fairness, and equity for the people I support and the community as a whole. I will affirm the human rights, civil rights and responsibilities of the people I support.
As a DSP, I will:

  • Help the people I support use the opportunities and the resources of the community available to everyone.
  • Help the individuals I support understand and express their rights and responsibilities.
  • Understand the guardianship or other legal representation of individuals I support, and work in partnership with legal representatives to assure that the individual’s preferences and interests are honored.

6. Respect:

As a DSP, I will respect the human dignity and uniqueness of the people I support. I will recognize each person I support as valuable and help others understand their value.
As a DSP, I will:

  • Seek to understand the individuals I support today in the context of their personal history, their social and family networks, and their hopes and dreams for the future.
  • Honor the choices and preferences of the people I support.
  • Protect the privacy of the people I support.
  • Uphold the human rights of the people I support.
  • Interact with the people I support in a respectful manner.
  • Recognize and respect the cultural context (e.g. religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, socio-economic class) of the person supported and his/her social network.
  • Provide opportunities and supports that help the individuals I support be viewed with respect and as integral members of their communities.

7. Relationships:

As a DSP, I will assist the people I support to develop and maintain relationships.
As a DSP, I will:

  • Advocate for the people I support when they do not have access to opportunities and education to facilitate building and maintaining relationships.
  • Assure that people have the opportunity to make informed choices in safely expressing their sexuality.
  • Recognize the importance of relationships and proactively facilitate relationships between the people I support, their family and friends.
  • Separate my own personal beliefs and expectations regarding relationships (including sexual relationships) from those desired by the people I support based on their personal preferences. If I am unable to separate my own beliefs/preferences in a given situation, I will actively remove myself from the situation.
  • Refrain from expressing negative views, harsh judgments, and stereotyping of people close to the individuals I support.

8. Self-Determination:

As a DSP, I will assist the people I support to direct the course of their own lives.
As a DSP, I will:

  • Work in partnership with others to support individuals leading self-directed lives.
  • Honor the individual’s right to assume risk in an informed manner.
  • Recognize that each individual has potential for lifelong learning and growth.

9. Advocacy:

As a DSP, I will advocate with the people I support for justice, inclusion, and full community participation.
As a DSP, I will:

  • Support individuals to speak for themselves in all matters where my assistance is needed.
  • Represent the best interests of people who cannot speak for themselves by finding alternative ways of understanding their needs, including gathering information from others who represent their best interests.
  • Advocate for laws, policies, and supports that promote justice and inclusion for people with disabilities and other groups who have been disempowered.
  • Promote human, legal, and civil rights of all people and assist others to understand these rights.
  • Recognize that those who victimize people with disabilities either criminally or civilly must be held accountable for their actions.
  • Find additional advocacy services when those that I provide are not sufficient.
  • Consult with people I trust when I am unsure of the appropriate course of action in my advocacy efforts.
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