We are so excited to introduce our client, Champaign Residential Services, Inc. (CRSI). Their mission and philosophy are “To empower and support individuals with challenges to provide an opportunity to develop their maximum level of independence as they choose. It is the intent of CRSI to value lifestyles and choices by all individuals served.” Their corporate office is right here in Champaign County, but they provide services to 22 different counties in Ohio.
They work hard to build support systems for the individuals they serve. One of the important roles in this system is the Direct Support Professional (DSP). These are the people that work directly with individuals with developmental disabilities to help them realize their full potential. This role is not about caregiving but is about helping people learn to live their lives to their fullest and learn new skills to make their lives easier. DSPs help people become integrated and engaged in the community in ways they might not have been before.
This week, September 14-19th, is Direct Support Professional Week. To celebrate this important career, we want to highlight some of the things that these individuals do every day to improve the lives of those they help. Starting first thing in the morning the DSP helps individuals get ready for the day by assisting with personal care and making breakfast. Each individual requires different attention based on their care plan, preferences, and progress. Once they are ready for the day, the DSP is their transportation to and from work and activities. Once the day is done, they help them get ready for the night by making them dinner, helping them get ready for bed and then spending time with them doing whatever they like to do to wind down.
On the surface it would seem that a DSP has a clear-cut job, but looking a little further there is so much more that goes into it. Many DSPs know that their attitude will affect the attitude of the individuals they help so they like to start their day off the right way with a positive outlook. They also provide friendship and companionship for these individuals and help them create those connections with others in the house or in the community. They learn so much about the individuals they help like their food preferences, their favorite music, and if they have family that comes to visit them on holidays. Sometimes the DSP plays a much bigger role in these individuals lives than they expected to, and amazing lifelong bonds are formed.
All of these things combined create the job of a DSP. At the end of the day they are there to help individuals with their personal growth in daily activities, communication, personal care, and so much more. Watching someone start to excel at something they couldn’t do before brings great joy and pride to one DSP, Tonya Van Winkle, at CRSI. She cites her time spent serving as a DSP at CRSI as one of the main reasons why she decided that once she graduates as an occupational therapist that she wants to continue to work with adults.
CRSI is an amazing resource right here in our own community. They help so many people live their lives to the fullest by giving them choices and providing options to them that they may not have had before. Their core values are positivity, respect, empowerment, teamwork and ownership. These values help the team at CRSI connect with all the individuals they serve in the best way possible providing an amazing space for growth and happiness. To learn more about CRSI, their core values, or how to join the team and start changing lives visit their website at https://www.crsi-oh.com.