SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The New Jersey Department of Human Services announced earlier this month that wages have increased for the direct support professionals (DSP) who work with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to help them live successfully in communities.

Governor Phil Murphy and the Legislature identified $32 million in additional state and federal funding to support higher wages for the DSPs. The increase represents an average wage increase of about 4.5 percent.

"This is great news for the thousands of the dedicated, selfless DSP's who who provide a lifeline to clients' independence and care, said Tara Roberts of JESPY House, a nonprofit organization in South Orange that enables adults with learning and developmental disabilities to achieve their full potential and lead independent lives. 

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“Direct support professionals play a crucial role in our effort to assist individuals with disabilities live successfully in our communities,” said New Jersey Department of Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson. “Their dedication leads to better lives for so many New Jerseyans, which is why we’re pleased to be able to recognize their commitment. We value the work of our direct support professionals and all that they do for individuals with disabilities.”

“The work performed by direct support professionals is truly a labor of love," said state Senator Troy Singleton. "They care for those with disabilities, advocate on their behalf, and help integrate them into their communities. For these reasons and thousands more, they deserve - and have rightfully earned - a higher wage for the work that they do each and every day.  I am proud to have led the effort to secure funding for this wage increase."

“This is well deserved. These professionals are tasked with the care of some of our most vulnerable populations. Often times they are the only people that these individuals have contact with on a regular basis,” said Assembly Budget Chair Eliana Pintor Marin. “This is noble, but hard work. I’m glad that their compensation will be more reflective of that.”