Overview

What is the NCI-IDD Stability Survey?

The National Core Indicators Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (NCI-IDD) Staff Stability Survey is a national effort to collect large-scale information on the Direct Support Professional (DSP) workforce. New York State OPWDD voluntary provider agencies have been participating in the NCI Staff Stability Survey since 2017.

The NCI-IDD Staff Stability Survey collects and reports information on the DSP workforce at voluntary provider agencies. This includes data on DSP payroll, compensation, turnover, tenure, benefits, bonuses, recruitment strategies, retention strategies, demographics, and other quantitative information. Results are disseminated annually, and national and statewide averages are reported.

For more information on this national project, please visit www.nationalcoreindicators.org or contact [email protected].

Latest Results

New York State OPWDD sent the National Core Indicators Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (NCI-IDD) Staff Stability Survey to 304 qualifying agencies across NYS. The data gathered refer to the period between January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, during which 55,033 Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) were employed across 223 participating agencies.

73.4% Response Rate, 63.5% full-time DSPs, 36.5% part-time DSPs, 223 providers surveyed, 55,033 DSPs represented.
NYS Workforce
72.4% of agencies employ fewer than 300 DSPs.
Number of DSPs Employed Agencies
0-99 95
100-199 41
200-299 27
300-399 15
400-499 15
500-599 12
600-699 1
700-799 5
800-899 3
900-999 2
Greater than 1000 6
Greater than 2000 1

 

Number of People Supported

50.0% of providers support 100 to 499 adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities

Number of People Supported Percent of Providers
1-10 Adults 6.7%
11-20 Adults 3.0%
21-50 Adults 12.8%
51-99 Adults 22.6%
100-499 Adults 50.0%
500-999 Adults 4.3%
1000+ Adults 0.6%

 

Demographic of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs)
Age of DSPs
Age Group Number of DSPs Percent of DSPs
18-24 years old 8,262 16.0%
25-34 years old 14,285 27.6%
35-44years old 9,557 18.5%
45-54 years old 8,553 16.5%
55 years old 10,119 19.5%
Don't Know 985 1.9%
71.4% female DSPs, 26.9% Male DSPs, 1.5% missing data
Gender Identity
Gender Percent
Male 26.9%
Female 71.4%
Non-conforming 0.0%
Missing 1.5%

*Percentages do not add up to 100% due to rounding error alone.

Race of DSPs Statewide
Race Percentage
Black or African American 41.3%
White 37.4%
Hispanic/Latino 9.2%
Asian 1.4%
American Indian or Alaskan native 0.4%
Pacific Islander 0.3%
More than one race/ethnicity 1.7%
Other 1.1%
Don't Know 7.2%
Race of DSPs by DDRO Region
Region American Indian/ Alaskan Native Asian Black/ African American Hispanic/ Latino Pacific Islander White More Than One Race Other Don't Know Total
Region 1 0.4% 0.8% 34.3% 5.3% 2.3% 48.0% 2.3% 0.2% 6.5% 100.0%
Region 2 0.3% 1.3% 8.9% 2.6% 0.1% 69.0% 1.7% 0.4% 15.5% 100.0%
Region 3 0.5% 1.6% 43.0% 8.6% 0.2% 39.8% 3.0% 0.2% 3.1% 100.0%
Region 4 0.4% 2.4% 58.9% 9.9% 0.2% 17.8% 1.5% 0.8% 8.1% 100.0%
Region 5 0.6% 2.0% 59.3% 9.5% 0.1% 23.2% 3.5% 0.6% 1.2% 100.0%

 

Demographics of Frontline Supervisors (FLSs)
Age of FLSs
Age Group Number of FLSs Percent of FLSs
Ages 18-24 184 3.2%
Ages 25-34 1653 28.6%
Ages 35-44 1617 27.9%
Ages 45-54 1188 20.5%
Ages 55+ 967 16.7%
Don't Know 178 3.1%
76.3% Female FLSs, 22.2% Male FLSs, 1.5% missing data.
Gender Identity of FLSs
Gender Percent
Male  22.2%
Female 76.3%
Non-conforming 0.0%
Missing 1.5%
Race of FLSs Statewide
Race Percentage
Black or African American 33.2%
White 48.3%
Hispanic/Latino 7.6%
Asian 1.9%
American Indian or Alaskan native 0.6%
Pacific Islander 0.4%
More than one race/ethnicity 1.6%
Other 0.8%
Don't Know 5.7%
Race of FLSs by DDRO Region*
Region American Indian/ Alaskan Native Asian Black/ African American Hispanic/ Latino Pacific Islander White More Than One Race Other Don't Know Total
Region 1 0.3% 0.4% 23.2% 3.7% 0.1% 65.9% 2.0% 0.0% 4.4% 100.0%
Region 2 0.8% 0.6% 5.3% 1.8% 0.0% 82.7% 0.4% 0.0% 8.6% 100.0%
Region 3 0.2% 0.6% 27.0% 6.3% 1.9% 53.8% 1.8% 0.2% 8.2% 100.0%
Region 4 0.7% 7.7% 50.4% 11.3% 0.3% 21.9% 1.6% 0.3% 5.8% 100.0%
Region 5 0.6% 3.1% 46.1% 7.6% 0.1% 38.6% 3.4% 0.0% 0.5% 100.0%

*Data are skewed toward NYC. Therefore, we conducted an analysis of race by DDRO region.

 

Turnover

NYS Turnover Rate is 35.6%

National Turnover Rate* is 43.6%

*National rates are based on data from the 26 states (including D.C.) that participated in the 2020 NCI-IDD Staff Stability Survey.

OPWDD Regions Turnover Rate
Region 1 46.3%
Region 2 59.9%
Region 3 31.4%
Region 4 29.4%
Region 5 42.8%

 

Vacancy
21.3% part-time positions were vacant, 17.2% of full-time positions were vacant.
Vacancy NYS National*
PT Vacancy 21.3% 16.4%
FT Vacancy 17.2% 12.3%

*National rates are based on data from the 26 states (including D.C.) that participated in the 2020 NCI-IDD Staff Stability Survey. 

 

Length of Employment of DSPs
 Tenure of Employed DSPs
Tenure of Employed - less than 6 months 10.7%

Tenure of Employed - 6 to 12 months

10.4%
Tenure of Employed - 12 to 24 months 18.3%
Tenure of Employed - 24 to 36 months 12.7%
Tenure of Employed - more than 36 months 47.9%

These data show the percentage of DSPs who were employed at the agencies over a certain length of time (less than 6 months to 3 years).

Tenure of Separated DSPs 
Tenure of Separated - less than 6 months 24.0%
Tenure of Separated - 6 to 12 months 16.4%
Tenure of Separated - 12 to 24 months 16.8%
Tenure of Separated - 24 to 36 months 10.5%
Tenure of Separated - more than 36 months 24.5%

For DSPs who left their agency, the data show the percentage of those who were employed over a certain length of time (less than 6 months to 3 years).

Wages

In 2020, there were 3 active minimum wages in different geographic areas of New York State:

  • NYC: $15
  • Long Island & Westchester: $13
  • Rest of NYS: $11.80
This table compares agency average hourly wage to the minimum wage of the region.
Regions  # of agencies whose average hourly wage is equal to minimum wage # of agencies whose average hourly wage is 1-20% above the minimum wage # of agencies whose average hourly wage is 21-41% above the minimum wage # of agencies whose average hourly wage is 41-60% above the minimum wage # of agencies whose average hourly wage is 61-80% above the minimum wage # of agencies whose average hourly wage is 81-100% above the minimum wage
Region 1 0 22 9 1 0 0
Region 2 0 14 18 0 2 0
Region 3 0 12 24 3 0 0
Region 4 11 42 5 0 0 0
Region 5 1 14 6 2 0 0

 

Average Wages

National* average hourly wages range from $9.76 (AZ) to $15.96 (CT).

Unweighted national average for hourly wage is $13.28.

Hourly wages in New York State range from $12.50 to $24.86.

Average hourly wages in OPWDD regions:

Region Average Hourly Wage
Region 1 $14.39
Region 2 $15.28
Region 3 $15.72
Region 4 $16.29
Region 5 $16.53

*National rates are based on data from the 26 states (including D.C.) that participated in the 2020 NCI-IDD Staff Stability Survey.

Overtime (OT) and Regular Hours Paid to DSPs
DDRO Region Number of Providers Percent Overtime Hours Paid to DSPs Percent Regular Hours Paid to DSPs Percent Total Hours Paid to DSPs
Region 1 32 10.8% 89.2% 100.0%
Region 2 37 9.9% 90.1% 100.0%
Region 3 49 38.3% 61.7% 100.0%
Region 4 67 7.8% 92.2% 100.0%
Region 5 25 14.5% 85.5% 100.0%
Grand Total 210 17.8% 82.2% 100.0%

 

Direct Support Professional to Frontline Supervisor Ratio 

The data below presents the number of agencies that have a certain DSP to Frontline Supervisor (FLS) ratio.

We believe that it is important to look at DSP to FLS ratio because this statistic can be indicative of the amount of supervision and support available to DSPs. 

Regions # of Agencies with 1-8 DSPs per FLS # of Agencies with 9-14 DSPs per FLS # of Agencies with >14 DSPs per FLS
Region 1 16 9 5
Region 2 18 11 8
Region 3 21 16 11
Region 4 26 25 18
Region 5 13 9 5

 

Furloughs and Recalls of Direct Support Professionals

24.7% of providers put DSPs on furlough.

62.3% of providers recalled DSPs who were furloughed.

Health Insurance
Direct Support Professionals Enrollment in Health Insurance
  1. How many agencies offer all three Dental, Health, and Vision plans?
    • 78.4% Offered
    • 21.6% Not Offer
  2. How many DSPs are eligible for Health Insurance?
    • 63.4% Eligible
    • 36.6 % Not Eligible
  3. How many DSPs are enrolled in Health Insurance?
    • 30.9% Enrolled
    • 69.1% Not Enrolled
How many agencies offer all three Dental, Health, and Vision plans? 78.4% Offered 21.6% Not Offer. How many DSPs are eligible for Health Insurance? 63.4% Eligible 36.6 % Not Eligible. How many DSPs are enrolled in Health Insurance? 30.9% Enrolled 69.1% Not Enrolled.

While the majority of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) at voluntary provider agencies are eligible for their agency's health insurance, a smaller portion are enrolled. A total 16,981 (30.9%) out of 55,033 DSPs are enrolled in their agency's health insurance plan.

Benefits Offered to Direct Support Professionals 
Type of Benefit Percentage of Agencies that Offer These Benefits
Employer sponsored disability insurance 51.8%
Employer paid job related training 55.9%
Flexible spending account 64.4%
Life Insurance 82.4%
Post-secondary education support 54.1%
Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) Enrollment in Benefits
Type of Benefits Percentage of Eligible DSPs who are enrolled
Employer sponsored disability insurance 74.0%
Flexible spending account 12.1%
Post-secondary education support 15.4%
Strategies of Recruitment and Retention of Direct Support Professionals
Recruitment & Retention Strategies Percentage of Agencies That Use Them
Pay Incentive/Referral Bonus 68.8%
DSP Ladder 37.4%
Training on Code of Ethics 95.5%
Offer Realistic Job Previews 81.5%
Staff Supported to Acquire Credentials 25.2%
Employee Engagement Surveys 50.5%

83 agencies (37.4%) offer a DSP Ladder. The tables below show specifically what benefits and opportunities are offered by these agencies to DSPs who partake in DSP ladder opportunities. An agency can offer more than one DSP ladder benefit. 

DSP Ladder Benefit Number of Agencies that Offer
Bonus 14
Higher Rate of Pay 67
Time Accruals 10
Benefits Package 6
Skill-building 44
None 5
Other 8
DSP Ladder Opportunities Number of Agencies that Offer
Areas of specialization 22
Formal education outside of agency to augment professional growth 28
Seniority-based promotions 28
Supervision responsibilities 51
Training in the agency 66
Other 7

 

For Providers

What is the NCI-IDD Staff Stability Survey about?

The National Core Indicators Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (NCI-DD) Staff Stability Survey is about the Direct Support Professional (DSP) Workforce. NYS voluntary providers are asked to submit information about payroll, compensation, tenure, turnover, benefits, bonuses, recruitment strategies, retention strategies, and demographics of DSPs at the agency.

What is the due date of the survey?

The due date for the 2021 NCI-IDD Staff Stability Survey cycle is July 31, 2022.

How do I know if my provider agency is eligible to participate?

In order to be eligible for the NCI-IDD Staff Stability Survey, a voluntary provider agency must:

  1. Be in operation for at least 6 continuous months. 
  2. Employ DSPs – a DSP is someone who spends 50% or more of their job function supporting people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Provider agencies who hire DSPs who only provide self-directed services are not eligible.
  3. Serve adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. If your agency only serves children (younger than 18 years old) with disabilities, you are not eligible.

If you have questions about eligibility, please contact: [email protected].

How do I get access to the survey?

Eligible providers will receive an email from OPWDD Division of Administration announcing the official launch of the survey. Another email containing a unique link to the survey will be sent to an executive director, HR director, or other point of contact identified in previous cycles will be sent out shortly thereafter. For more information or to request the link for your agency please contact [email protected].

When and where can I find the results of the survey?

National Core Indicators releases the results of the survey in a public report, typically in January after the survey cycle has been completed. The report will be posted here: https://www.nationalcoreindicators.org/staff-stability-survey/

Additionally, every year, OPWDD publishes an executive summary of NYS-specific results. Those results will be posted on the OPWDD website.

Latest Staff Stability Webinar

Data & Reports

To better understand how to support the recruitment and retention of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), NYS OPWDD has conducted descriptive and statistical analyses on factors that influence the tenure of DSPs. Analyses were conducted on the 2019 National Core Indicators Staff Stability Survey dataset for NYS.

Wages and Tenure

We looked at the relationship between average wages paid to DSPs and tenure of DSPs. A wage index score was calculated for each agency. An agency with a greater score represents a more competitive wage than an agency with a smaller score. As wages increase, tenure of DSPs improves. The relationship between wage and tenure is statistically significant and meaningful. The graph below illustrates this relationship.

Dot graph of Wages and Tenure in 2019
Health Insurance and Tenure

We looked at the relationship between health insurance and tenure of DSPs. On average, if an agency provides a good wage and offers health insurance to DSPs, it will observe better tenure than if it did not offer health insurance to DSPs. There are only nine agencies in the 2019 staff stability dataset who did not offer health insurance. The graph below illustrates the relationship between wage, health insurance, and tenure of DSPs. The size of the circles represents the size of the agency in terms of number of DSPs employed.

Circle graph of Health Insurance & Tenure for 2019
Tenure of Employed DSPs in 2019

The chart below illustrates length of employment in 2019 for DSPs across the five Developmental Disabilities Regional Offices (DDRO) regions. Each bar represents percent of DSPs at the agency who were employed for a certain length of time (less than 6 months to 3 years).

Line graph of Tenure of Employed DSPs in 2019
Tenure of Separated DSPs in 2019

The chart below illustrates length of employment for separated DSPs across the five Developmental Disabilities Regional Offices (DDRO) regions. Each bar represents percent of DSPs at the agency who were employed for a certain length of time (less than 6 months to 3 years).

Line graph of Tenure of Separated DSPs in 2019