What is a Direct Support Professional?

Here at Hope Haven Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are the heartbeat of everything that we do! DSPs provide direct care to the individuals we support based on their individual goals which always include making sure their physical mental emotional and social needs are met. Keep reading for more resources and information about this important job role.


Innovative Schedule Structure

  • Pilot program sites (Redwood, RV 1008, RV 1605, RV 1623, and Rock Valley My Day) are moving to front half/back half scheduling models which are 12-hour shifts (with a few 13-hour shifts possible).
  • Shifts are scheduled for 3 days one week and 4 days the next to maintain your FT Status.
  • Day hours and overnight hours will be available.
  • Front half – your schedule would include working Sunday, Monday, Tuesday one week – and Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday the next.
  • Back half – your schedule would include working Thursday, Friday, Saturday one week – and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday the next.
  • In this staffing model, DSP Staff will work 182 days per year at Full Time Status.
  • Currently on a 5-day schedule, a first-year DSP would work 240 days. This is after taking 11 days of PTO and 9 paid holidays.

Hourly Pay

The starting wage for a DSP is $15/hr ($17/hr for weekend shifts)


DSP responsibilities vary depending on the department. Refer to the department information below to learn more.


New employees participate in a 10-week orientation/training period.

Additional training includes CPR training, medication management, among other ongoing educational training opportunities to keep employees up to date on current practices and safety procedures.


We offer health insurance, supplemental insurance, paid time off, paid holidays, and an 8% match pension plan.

Potential for student loan forgiveness as part of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

Learn more on our BENEFITS page.


No experience required, but eligible candidates must possess basic computer skills, a valid drivers license, reliable transportation, proof of insurance; pass a health assessment, drug screening, and criminal background check.

Department Information

Hope Haven offers DSP positions across our departments and service areas. Click below to learn more about what a DSP position looks like in each department.

Community Living

Community Living DSPs provide services to adults and children with disabilities (which may include intellectual disability, physical disability, brain injury, or mental illness) in their homes and in the community. We work with individuals to teach, guide, and support basic living skills and maintain stable mental health, so they can be as independent as possible.

Community Living DSPs are responsible for helping the individuals we support with their individual goals. Tasks include assisting with a wide range of basic living skills including but not limited to: cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, budgeting, hygiene, assisting with appointments, socialization (going out to eat, shopping, personal relationships) with peers and community, etc. DSPs also ensure that medications are given/taken,and that the client’s physical needs are met.

Community Living Settings:
Waiver and Home Based Habilitation: 3-5 adult persons supported live in a home

RCF (Residential Care Facility for the Intellectually Disabled): Up to 12 adult persons supported live in a home.

Hourly SCL (Supported Community Living): Drop-in support to individuals in their own home or in a family home.

Respite: Service designed to give a supported individuals primary caretaker a break from their caretaker responsibilities.

My Day

My Day services assist or support the individual in developing or maintaining life skills and community integration. Examples of My Day activities: Coordinating member participation in volunteering at local non-profits, nursing homes, churches, utilizing community resources such as the library, art studios, museums, etc.

My Day is a part-time position- 32 hours per week with the opportunity to reach 40 hours per week by working in the My Choice or Community Living departments.My Day programming operates Monday-Friday, 9am-2pm, or from 10am-3pm, depending on the location.

Locations: Rock Valley, Sioux Center, Orange City, Rock Rapids, Spencer, Spirit Lake, Sibley and Estherville.

Residential Based Support Community Living (RBSCL)

DSPs working in RBSCL serve children from ages 8-21 years of age that have intellectual disabilities, mental illness, emotional, and behavior disorders. We provide services to children in a residential home, utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach to meet all of the children’s needs including psychological, physical, emotional, and social relationships.

Scheduling options include the following shifts: mornings (6:30am-8:30am), evenings (3:00pm-10pm), overnights, (10:00pm-6:00am), among others.

During the summer and throughout the year when school is not in session, there are more day hours available.

Locations: Rock Valley, Orange City, & Storm Lake

Intermediate Care FAcility for the Intellectually Disabled (ICF/ID)

DSPs working in an ICF/ID will support children ages 3-21 years of age that have intellectual disabilities, mental illness, emotional, and behavior disorders. Services are provided to children in a residential home setting. Eight clients live in a home, and there are 4 homes located within our ICF/ID location.

Potential shifts include: weekday mornings (6:00am-9:00am), evenings (3:00pm -1:00pm), overnights (10:00pm – 6:00am) every other weekend, and rotating holidays. Weekend and summer include: mornings (6:00 am-2:00 pm), evenings, (2:00pm-10:00pm), overnights (10:00pm-6:00am).

During the summer and throughout the year when school is not in session, there are more day hours available.
Locations: Storm Lake, IA

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  • Health Insurance
  • Retirement Plan with 8% Pension Match
  • Pay on Demand + PTO
  • Flexible Schedules