Qualities of Direct Support Professionals


Direct support professionals do more than just look after people with disabilities. They set high standards in their work and support those they serve. They build a strong relationship with clients which makes them almost a part of the family. They earn their trust and nurture them every day. Sometimes, they provide more than what is required. That’s what makes our direct support professionals the best at what they do. The behavior they display towards their clients and their attitude towards work should also be a reflection of the company they are representing.


In many situations, people with disabilities spend more time with their direct support professional than anyone. Our direct support professionals at 1st Choice Family Services undergo rigorous training that helps them be their best in the field of health care support.


Qualities of Direct Support Professionals




It is easy to see why empathy is an important quality and a valuable trait for direct support professionals. They know that people with disabilities face challenges in life but also the opportunity for a happy future with proper guidance and support from their family and direct support professionals. DSPs try to put themselves in their position and imagine what they would feel if they were in their shoes so they can empathize with clients. Even if they don’t understand their emotions, they do their best to imagine their mindset.





Showing up to work every day and being committed to what they are doing despite the challenges they face every day is another quality of our direct support professionals. They value their job and their employer so they show up on time and work hard. By being reliable, our direct support professionals tend to stay with their clients for a longer period of time and keep them as friends. They forge deep relationships and also receive the best opportunities in the support field. They have self-confidence, live with integrity and carry a clear conscience.


Positive attitude


A good attitude at work is important, and it is evident to everyone around you.  If you are a force for self-improvement and have a positive outlook about life you can also display a positive attitude at work. How does one maintain a positive attitude towards work? Find a purpose. The purpose of our direct support professionals is to help people with disabilities live life independently as much as possible. With this goal, it can help them stay on track. Once you decide that you want to identify with a certain objective, it’s hard to give up.




Determination in the workplace means not giving up on tasks or complaining about the job being too difficult. It is an excellent quality to possess in any job. Every challenge that direct support professionals might encounter is an opportunity to learn and to grow. They are determined to help their clients overcome challenges and help them unlock another milestone for their growth as an individual. When they experience challenges, they make sure to overcome them. Opportunities to practice skills that support self-determination also lead to greater independence and self-advocacy. Being determined at work will make a big difference in a client’s life.







Each client has different characteristics and behavior. Direct support professionals can adapt to their attitudes by being flexible. They know how to handle clients with different personalities. Flexible thinking is the key to being great at their job. Flexibility is a mindset. Flexible thinking means considering all the options and knowing that your opinion is just one of many.




Being patient is key if you consider this profession. Almost all of our direct support professionals answered the same thing when asked: “What is the most important behavior that you need to possess as a direct support professional for people with disabilities? Patience was the answer. “Patientia virtus,” (patience is the greatest virtue) according to William Langland, and is a very common phrase. Being patient with people with disabilities is essential in this profession. Our direct support professionals make sure that even with their clients’ bad days; they will always remain patient, listen to them, understand their behavior and just be with them as a friend. Patience requires understanding and this quality will make you the best direct support professional.




There might be days that it feels like it is a whirlwind of appointments and activities. Our direct support professionals know how to deal with this situation by working smarter, not harder. It is important to set goals and organize all the tasks and appointments. DSPs time management skills are also needed. Planning activities ahead of time that involve a client’s family is helpful. By being organized, our direct support professionals think in advance and anticipate what will happen next. That way they can always have a backup plan.





This job is not for everyone. You have to ask: Are you willing to submit yourself completely to helping people with disabilities and help them lead a comfortable life? If you can answer “yes” then this is the best choice for you, even if you want to change your career after a period of time. If you are a caring person and helping other people makes you happy then this job is a great fit while also providing a stable source of income. All you have to do is put your heart in the job and be committed to the people you are supporting.