What Else Can I Do?

Advocate for Us

Our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are trained, skilled professionals who work directly with the people we serve, and are at the heart of what North Star does.  Because of their work, those who live with a disability are able to live a safe, more independent, inclusive, and quality life in their community of choice.  DSPs are essential, and comprise more than 60% of North Star's workforce.

Because Iowa Medicaid's reimbursement rates are fixed, community providers like North Star, are unable to raise our rates (what we charge) to increase wages, which is making it challenging to recruit and retain quality DSPs.  We struggle to compete with other entry-level jobs that can pay a higher starting wage.  Across Iowa (and the country), the DSP workforce is in crisis.

Advocate with us.  The definition of advocate is "to add a voice of support to a cause or person."  Sharing your story can help - in fact, advocacy is one sure way to give a voice to issues that matter to you!

You can help by contacting your local members of Iowa legislature and help make them aware of the important services North Star provides, and why these things matter to persons served, their families, our employees, peer-providers and the community.  Urge them to provide adequate funding so that DSPs are paid a living wage, including appropriate benefits, so that we can attract and retain the workforce we need to fully support people living in the community.

Iowa's community providers will contribute $1.3 billion dollars to the economy, and provide support to 160,000 of our more vulnerable citizens with disabilities from all 99 counties in the state.

Contact your local seat holders...often...to ensure they are aware of North Star Community Services, and the invaluable services we provide the people we serve.

The Iowa Association of Community Providers (IACP) has a list of current policy priorities that will help community providers like North Star help the people we serve.  Find out more here 

Visit the IACP website for additional information and reach out to your local legislators.  Find out who your legislator is by using this link:  Find your Iowa Legislator

If you need help getting started, below is a simple sample script:


My name is [name]. I live in [City, county], and am a constituent of [legislator's name].  I am [calling/writing] to ask them to invest in our DSPs by supporting strategies that will increase in reimbursement rates to address the workforce crisis.  I am [a DSP or family member/guardian of someone who receives support or an interested other].

[insert a short description of how/why the support matters to you]

Competitive wages for DSPs are important to stabilize the workforce and continue the quality consistent care for our fellow citizens with living with a disability.  Recruiting and retaining quality direct support professionals is key to effective services.

Thank you for your time,