2018 Tennessee Profile
The 2018 Direct Support Workforce State Overview for Tennessee covers data for the 47 organizations in Tennessee that responded to the survey. This overview includes data on staffing, wages, direct support professional turnover and vacancy, and other key data points from information collected in the survey.
The profiles displayed here are also available at the end of the survey report for 2018 (PDF).
The reporting organizations provide 27% of services in the West region, 32% in the Middle region, and 41% in the East region. These proportions of service regions are an average of the proportion of services organizations reported they provide in each region weighted by the number of DSPs. Thirty-nine organizations reported 2,952 service sites with 54% family or individual homes, 13% agency or facility sites, 15% job sites, and 17% other sites not already indicated. Of the 47 participating organizations, 35 had been in business ten years or more, 3 six to ten years, and 9 had been in business only 1-5 years. Of the 47 participating organizations, 35 had been in delivering services ten years or more, 2 six to ten years, and 9 had been in business only 1-5 years, and one less than one year.
Direct Support Professionals
There were 8,703 direct support professionals (DSPs) in the 47 organizations who responded to the 2018 survey. Of those DSPs, 4% were on call or temporary employees, 27% were part-time, and 69% were full-time. Of the 44 organizations who responded to whether or not their DSPs work across service types, 46% of DSPs worked across more than one service type. Service types included ECF Choices, DIDD Waiver, Vocational Rehabilitation, and CHOICES (Non-ECF Choices).
Among 38 organizations serving 5,706 people, there were an average of 1.1 DSPs employed for every person served. For every one frontline supervisor, there was an average of 10 DSPs in 39 reporting organizations. For every one manager, there was an average of 18 DSPs in 39 reporting organizations. For every one administrator, there was an average of 11 DSPs in 44 reporting organizations. Lastly, for every other type of employee (not a frontline supervisor, manager, or administrator), there was an average of 6 DSPs in 33 reporting organizations.
The overall vacancy rate for DSPs was 15% in 42 organizations employing 8,693 DSPs. On average, 18% of part-time positions were vacant and 15% of full-time positions were vacant.
Overall, there was 46% turnover for DSPs in the 42 organizations reporting. The part-time turnover was 50% and full-time turnover was 47%. The most common reasons for departure of DSPs given by organizations who track the reasons for DSPs departures were: found another job at another company (93% of organizations indicated this reason); other (reported by 65% of organizations such as low pay, work in another field, no show, personal reasons, etc.); was terminated or fired (63% of organizations indicated this reason).
The starting wage for a DSP was $9.38, the average wage was $10.17, and the highest wage was $12.22 when averaged across the 46 organizations reporting. 28% of organizations pay DSPs who work across different service types a different wage for services. Wage increases for full-time DSPs were 90 cents once training is complete, 56 cents for longevity increases, and 70 cents for reasons other than longevity on average across reporting organizations.
Organizations who took the survey were asked about the benefits they provide DSPs. Paid time off was offered to full-time DSPs by 57% of organizations and to part-time DSPs by 9% of organizations. Sick leave was offered to full-time DSPs by 32% of organizations and to part-time DSPs by 4% of organizations. Paid vacation was offered to full-time DSPs by 34% of organizations and to part-time DSPs by 6% of organizations. Health insurance was offered to full-time DSPs by 85% of organizations and to part-time DSPs by 17% of organizations. Organization reported that 29% of DSPs were enrolled their employer health care plans.
The average monthly overtime per DSP was 13 hours. The highest average overtime for DSPs was 22 hours for ECF Choices Community Living Supports among reporting organizations.