It’s that time of year once again for the annual State of the States Report. The data lags by several years, since it takes awhile to come in, but if you click on the pull down you can find Illinois. There’s a lot of complexity in the data, but the telling thing is the turnover rate for DSPs (direct care employees) both statewide and nationally. It’s at crisis levels pretty much everywhere. Specific to Streator Unlimited, we’re much more fortunate than most. That’s not really because it’s easy for us to hire new employees, but because the ones we have tend to stick around for a long time, and we’re very glad and grateful to have such a dedicated group of people.
The full report can be found under “Resources” as “2023 Key Findings.” It contains recommendations for improving the service system. Absent this year is the state rankings, which probably saves some embarrassment for Illinois, since we have always ranked near the bottom.
What about the current environment, since much of this data is pre-pandemic? The governor proposed funding for a $1.50/hour wage increase for DSPs effective January 2024. Now the Illinois House and Senate develop their own budget proposals, then all three have to come to agreement on a state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Anything can happen, and the truth is, we need more. We need to get decently ahead of the rising minimum wage with our funding. The work we do demands skill, intelligence, compassion, regulatory compliance, paper, people, and is so important and impactful. Our employees, and everyone doing this work, deserve to be compensated commensurate with that.