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DHSS Press Release



Molly Magarik, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: Jill.Fredel@delaware.gov

Date: October 12, 2021
DHSS-10-2021





DHSS ANNOUNCES DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION BONUSES AS PART OF AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT FUNDING THROUGH MEDICAID


NEW CASTLE (Oct. 12, 2021) - The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services' Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance (DMMA) and Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS) are pleased to announce immediate efforts to stabilize and strengthen the home and community-based services (HCBS) workforce that serves thousands of individuals across Delaware. The State will make targeted payments to recruit and retain the Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who are the critical infrastructure of the human services support system.

Through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Congress provided a temporary 10% increase in federal matching funds to enhance, expand, and strengthen home and community-based services supported by Medicaid.

"Investing in our Direct Support Professional workforce is the first step toward strengthening and expanding our system as a whole," DHSS Secretary Molly Magarik said. "These investments will be used to support DSPs operating across our entire network of home and community-based services, but will be made available first to DSPs supporting Delawareans with intellectual/developmental disabilities. Maintaining the integrity of this workforce ensures continued availability of this community lifeline for the individuals and families who rely on DSPs every single day."

Approximately 3,000 DSPs play a vital role in providing critical support for Delawareans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) living in the community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these essential staff are enabling Delawareans with IDD to maintain their jobs and live safely in their communities. In order to access this additional federal funding, states must develop a detailed spending plan demonstrating how and where the funds will be used. Delaware's spending plan will include payments directly to DSPs:

DHSS intends to begin submitting payments to providers later this month. Additional details on supports for DSPs working in other sectors of HCBS will be released soon. Additional information on Delaware's ARPA spending plan can be found on the DHSS website.

Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind or speech disabled can contact DPH by dialing 711 first using specialized devices (i.e. TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free and to learn more about how it works, please visit delawarerelay.com.

DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.



Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.





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