Overview

What is the National Core Indicators Staff Stability Survey?

The National Core Indicators (NCI) 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 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 (NCI) Staff Stability Survey to 347 qualifying agencies across NYS. The data gathered refer to the period between January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019, during which 63,337 Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) were employed across 261 participating agencies.

 

NYS Workforce
58% of agencies employ fewer than 200 DSPs.
Number of DSPs Employed Agencies
0-99 96
100-199 56
200-299 35
300-399 22
400-499 21
500-599 8
600-699 7
700-799 5
800-899 2
900-999 2
Greater than 1000 7

 

Turnover

1 in 3 DSPs left the NYS workforce in 2019.

NYS Turnover Rate is 36.2%

National Turnover Rate is 42.8%

OPWDD Regions Turnover Rate
Region 1 41.3%
Region 2 39.3%
Region 3 30.0%
Region 4 33.7%
Region 5 30.7%

 

Vacancy

  

1735% of part time positions were vacant. 11.9% of full time positions were vacant.

*National rates are based on data from the 26 states (including D.C.) that participated in the 2019 NCI Staff Stability Survey. 

 

Length of Employment of DSPs

  

41.2% of tenure employees have been with OPWDD for more than 36 months.
This data shows the percentage of DSPs who were employed at the agencies over a certain length of time (less than 6 months to 3 years).
28.8% of OPWDD employees leave in less than 6 months.
For DSPs who left their agency, the data shows the percentage of those who were employed over a certain length of time (less than 6 months to 3 years).
Wages

In 2019, there were 4 active minimum wages in different geographic areas of New York State:

  • NYC (Big Employers: 11 or more): $15
  • NYC (Small Employers: 10 or less): $13.50
  • Long Island & Westchester: $12
  • Rest of NYS: $11.10
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 1-20.5% above the minimum wage # of agencies whose average hourly wage is 21-41% above the minimum wage # of agencies whose average hourly wage is 41-60.5% above the minimum wage # of agencies whose average hourly wage is 61-80.5% above the minimum wage # of agencies whose average hourly wage is 81-100% above the minimum wage
Region 1 0 15 15 4 0 0
Region 2 0 17 24 4 1 0
Region 3 0 6 29 17 5 2
Region 4 24 47 9 2 0 0
Region 5 0 16 5 2 1 1

 

Average Wages

Hourly wages in New York State range from $12.00 to $24.21.

In 2019, there were 4 active minimum wages in different geographic areas of New York State:

  • NYC (Big Employers: 11 or more): $15
  • NYC (Small Employers: 10 or less): $13.50
  • Long Island & Westchester: $12
  • Rest of NYS: $11.10
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 1-20.5% above the minimum wage # of agencies whose average hourly wage is 21-41% above the minimum wage # of agencies whose average hourly wage is 41-60.5% above the minimum wage # of agencies whose average hourly wage is 61-80.5% above the minimum wage # of agencies whose average hourly wage is 81-100% above the minimum wage
Region 1 0 15 15 4 0 0
Region 2 0 17 24 4 1 0
Region 3 0 6 29 17 5 2
Region 4 24 47 9 2 0 0
Region 5 0 16 5 2 1 1

 

Average Wages

Hourly wages in New York State range from $12.00 to $24.21.

Average hourly wages in OPWDD regions:

Region Average Hourly Wage
Region 1 $14.01
Region 2 $14.06
Region 3 $15.39
Region 4 $16.40
Region 5 $15.61

 

Health Insurance
74.7% of agencies offer health and vision plans. 25.3% do not.
63.2% of DSPs are eligible for health insurance. Of those 63.2%, 51.3% are not enrolled and 48.7% are enrolled.
Benefits
Type of Benefit Percentage of Agencies that Offer These Benefits
Employer paid job related training 51.0%
Employer sponsored disability insurance 58.8%
Flexible spending account 61.5%
Life Insurance 84.8%
Post-secondary education support 47.9%

 

DSP 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. 

Region 1, 18 agencies employ 1-8 DSPs per FLS. In contract, in Region 4, approximately 25% (21 agencies) have 1-8 DSPs per FLS ratio.
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 18 11 3
Region 2 20 14 13
Region 3 18 24 15
Region 4 21 33 30
Region 5 11 8 8

 

Recruitment and Retention Strategies
Recruitment & Retention Strategies Percentage of Agencies That Use Them
Pay Incentive/Referral Bonus 60.8%
Career Ladder 42.4%
Training on Code of Ethics 96.1%
Offer Realistic Job Previews 82.1%

For Providers

What is the NCI Staff Stability Survey about?

The National Core Indicators (NCI) 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 National Core Indicators (NCI) Staff Stability Survey cycle is June 30, 2022.

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

In order to be eligible for the NCI 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.

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