Road Map of Core Competencies for the Direct Service Workforce: A Synthesis of Direct Service Workforce Demographics and Challenges Across Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities, Aging, Physical Disabilities, and Behavioral Health


A report providing an overview of direct service workforce challenges and practices across four sectors: intellectual and developmental disabilities, aging, physical disabilities, and behavioral health. While much has been written and studied within sectors about the workforce challenges and solutions, this report provides a synthesis of the similarities and differences of the workforce challenges and solutions across the sectors. Drawing on the literature, activities, and outcomes of the Direct Service Workforce Resource Center since its inception in 2005, the report identifies the complexities of the service sectors with respect to the workforce that provides hands-on services and supports to people who are aging, have disabilities, or experience substance abuse issues. Another Direct Service Workforce Resource Center report addresses data collection regarding workforce challenges across these four service sectors.


November 2008 
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
PHI [Bronx, NY]
Annapolis Coalition on the Behavioral Health Workforce
Research and Training Center on Community Living


  • Direct support workforce
    • Workforce development strategies
  • Community life
    • Aging and retirement
  • Specific life stage
    • Adults
  • Specific disability
    • Emotional/behavioral disorder (EBD)
    • Intellectual/developmental disability (IDD)
    • Physical disability