Establishes the direct support professional credential pilot program to initiate a program to continue to gain the expertise and knowledge of the developmental disabilities workforce and of the developmental disabilities workforce recruitment and retention needs throughout the field.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A8408
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to establishing the
direct support professional credential pilot program
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL:
The purpose of the bill is to establish a direct support credential
pilot program to promote recruitment, enhance competency, and retain
direct support professionals in the developmental disabilities field.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill amends the mental hygiene law by adding a new
section 13.44 to create the direct support professional credential pilot
program. The bill further provides that the program will be administered
by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) for a
period of three years and shall assess how the establishment of a state
recognized accredited credential program will:
(1) promote recruitment and retention in the developmental disabilities
field, notably the direct support professional position;
(2) enhance competence in the developmental disabilities field;
(3) yield quality supports and services to individuals with develop-
mental disabilities; and
(4) advance the health and safety requirements set by the state.
OPWDD in administering the program shall consider among other things,
best practices learning initiatives, national direct support profes-
sional competencies or credentialing based standards and trainings and
the role and value of skill mentors.
OPWDD shall produce a report detailing the progress of the pilot program
including the rate of recruitment and retention of direct support
professionals participating in the pilot, the projected number of direct
support professionals to be credentialed, and how quality of supports
and services to individuals with developmental disabilities have been
Section 2 is the effective date.
A recognized direct support professional credential in New York State's
developmental disabilities field will highlight the value of direct
support, foster the importance of the profession and continue to
acknowledge the importance of a well-trained front-line workforce. Indi-
viduals who receive the training will demonstrate firsthand, skills,
competency and proficiency in carrying out their responsibilities as
direct support professionals. The credentialing program will recognize
the competence and skills of the individual meeting the professional
requirements of the program.
Clarence Sundram, former Special Advisor to Governor Cuomo on Vulnerable
Persons, highlighted the importance of "a strong, well trained and
committed direct support staff" as one of "Four Pillars to the Safety
Net" introduced in the April 2011 report "The Measure of a Society:
Protection of Vulnerable Persons in Residential Facilities Against Abuse
& Neglect". The first of the "Four Pillars" recognizes that the founda-
tion of a strong, well trained and committed direct support staff is a
"dependable, competent and caring core of direct support staff". The
report recommends that "each state agency adopt a Direct Support Profes-
sional credentialing program that certifies competency and professional
The establishment of a direct support professional credential pilot
program will afford direct support professionals in the developmental
disabilities sector the opportunity to obtain a credential in their
field of expertise and enhance skills and competencies of individuals in
this field. In addition, the pilot program will assess how the creden-
tial; 1) promotes workforce recruitment efforts; 2) advances the health
and safety of the developmental disabilities service delivery system;
and 3) enhances retention of skilled and passionately committed individ-
uals in the field.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2015-16: A219-A referred to mental health; 2014: A9125 referred to
mental health; same as S6622 (Carlucci) referred to mental health and
developmental disabilities; 2013: A.7313A Passed Assembly; S.5102A
Passed Senate; vetoed by Governor-Veto Message-No. 265
FISCAL IMPACT TO STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
To be determined.
This act shall take effect April 1, 2023.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
October 20, 2021
Introduced by M. of A. ABINANTI -- read once and referred to the Commit-
tee on Mental Health
AN ACT to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to establishing the
direct support professional credential pilot program
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The mental hygiene law is amended by adding a new section
2 13.44 to read as follows:
3 § 13.44 Direct support professional credential pilot program.
4 (a) The office shall initiate a program to continue to gain the exper-
5 tise and knowledge of the developmental disabilities workforce and of
6 the developmental disabilities workforce recruitment and retention needs
7 throughout the field. The office shall implement a direct support
8 professional credential pilot program to assist and attract individuals
9 into the field of direct support, advance direct support as a career and
10 professionalize the field to promote workforce recruitment and retention
11 efforts, advance skills and competencies, and further ensure the health,
12 safety and well being of individuals being served.
13 (b) There hereby is created the direct support professional credential
14 pilot program within the office to assist individuals in the field to
15 obtain a credential in their field of expertise.
16 (1) Such pilot program shall be administered by the office for three
17 years. The pilot program shall include state-operated facilities and
18 not-for-profit providers, licensed and certified by the office. The
19 purpose of the pilot program shall be to assess how the establishment of
20 a state accredited direct support professional credential: (A) promotes
21 recruitment and retention efforts in the developmental disabilities
22 field, notably the direct support professional position; (B) enhances
23 competence in the developmental disabilities field; (C) yields quality
24 supports and services to individuals with developmental disabilities;
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 8408 2
1 and (D) advances the health and safety requirements set forth by the
3 (2) The office in administering the pilot program shall consider, but
4 not be limited to, the following:
5 (A) best practices learning initiatives, including the University of
6 Minnesota's college of direct support and New York state direct support
7 professional competencies;
8 (B) national direct support professional competencies or credentialing
9 based standards and trainings;
10 (C) facilitating direct support professionals portfolio development;
11 (D) the role and value of skill mentors; and
12 (E) creating a career ladder.
13 (3) Direct support professional credential means a document issued to
14 an individual by a recognized accrediting body attesting that such indi-
15 vidual has met the professional requirements of the credentialing
16 program by the office.
17 (4) The office shall produce a report detailing the progress of the
18 pilot program, including, but not limited to:
19 (A) the rate of recruitment and retention for direct support profes-
20 sionals of providers participating in the pilot program compared to the
21 rate for non-participating providers;
22 (B) the number of direct support professionals credentialed; and
23 (C) the enhancement of quality supports and services to individuals
24 with developmental disabilities.
25 § 2. This act shall take effect April 1, 2023.