Direct Service Worker Training Program

What is the Direct Service Worker Training Program (DSWTP)?

Maine is one of six states to receive a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to develop a competency-based, coordinated training program for direct services workers.  The need for direct service workers in Maine is projected to increase by 45% by 2016.  As the demand increases, both in terms of the numbers of persons who need care and the complexity of that care, Maine needs a flexible, accessible training system  that allows workers to apply their skills across multiple populations and in multiple settings.  The current training system is a patchwork of different job titles, training requirements and credentialing systems that makes it difficult for both workers and employers to meet new demands.

Under the DSWTP, the Department of Health and Human Services is working in partnership with the University of Southern Maine and the University of Maine in Augusta to develop and test a competency-based core curriculum for workers in the three most popular job titles:

  •                 Personal Support Specialist (PSS)
  •                 Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician I (MHRT I)
  •                 Direct Service Professionals (DSP)

This integrated curriculum will help the Department meet its ultimate goal:

“To establish a consistent, competency-based training and certification system that:
Improves knowledge, competency and practice of the direct service workforce
Improves the supply and mobility of the workers across populations and programs
Optimizes the use of training resources
Is responsive to the changing needs of long term services and supports”

For more information please email: mdsw@usm.maine.edu