HIGHER WAGES! Direct support starts at $15 and $15.75 +. LEARN MORE


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Your advocacy matters

Care professionals are the familiar faces working in our group residences, hospitals, nursing homes and in-home care who we trust to support our loved ones when we cannot be there. Even with medical professionals assessing and designing care plans, without our frontline support professionals, these plans simply remain on paper. Plans of care are lived out by the hands and hearts that support the person in each step of their daily routine.

Care professionals perform some of the most important work in our communities. They are also parents, students, and people who want to make a difference in the lives of those they support. Our society depends on people working in these roles to support our community members, often at times of greatest need; as such, human services continues to be one of the fastest-growing industries in the country. People in care roles are required to be skilled professionals with specific training and education, and yet many of them cannot financially take care of their own families because of the low wages associated with their jobs. It is essential that care professionals be able to earn a livable, sustainable wage. They deserve it.  We all need to work together to increase the respect and wages of care professionals.


As we continue to advocate for care professionals like direct support staff, we would like to share your stories that illustrate the importance of this work. We will use these stories to demonstrate the need for change.  If you have a personal example that you can share, please complete the form below.

Advocacy Stories



Get involved and take action

Voice your concern over significant budget cuts to residential supports, planned for May 1, 2021. These rate reductions will harm people and impede provider ability to offer essential services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Encourage your NYS senator to join Sen. Mannion and sign the letter to delay the May 1 residential cuts.

Lawmakers need to know the disruption budget cuts are causing families and businesses that provide support. These are federal and state issues, and we need our voices to be heard. Please contact your representatives and help them see the impact on families. We also need to continue to advocate for a wage for direct support that is commensurate with the work they do. Their work is NOT minimal and their pay should not be either. At this time, New York reimburses us for minimum wage. This isn’t sufficient.

In a crucial step that recognizes the skilled and outstanding efforts of our workforce, Heritage Christian Services has raised its base wage to $15/hour for all frontline positions, and certified residential and respite start at $15.75/hour, effective May 9, 2021. That’s a 20% increase for all frontline positions since the start of 2021, ranging to 30% for more than half of the job openings. It’s the largest percentage wage increase in the agency’s history.


Help share the importance of the services your loved one may receive and the part that direct support roles play in those services.

Together, we will ensure a community that respects the work of our agency and care professionals. With that respect, we will elevate our advocacy to ensure our legislators and funders make the necessary adjustments to support quality services and the funding of a sustainable wage for care professionals.

Looking to the future

While establishing a living wage for care professionals remains the most pervasive priority for our future supports and services, it is not the only issue of significance in the lives of people living with disabilities.  Heritage Christian Services supports initiatives that:

  • Enhance the opportunity for diverse, inclusive, equitable community experiences rich with meaningful relationships
  • Ensure introduction and access to  high-quality care professionals
  • Increase the number of people who have meaningful employment in our community
  • Increase access to accessible, affordable, quality housing
  • Improve the availability and quality of transportation services