The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region Thanks Direct Support Professionals for Service and Dedication

Serifat Busari poses with an individual supported by The Arc NCR in July 2020 at the grand opening of Miracle League of Harford County’s new turf and all level baseball field. 

September 13-19, 2020 is Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Week

The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region (The Arc NCR) is thrilled to celebrate September 13-19, 2020 as “Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Week.” The week is an opportunity to highlight the work of more than 3.6 million career-minded, trained professionals across the United States who provide 1:1 services and support to people with differing abilities to help them live happy, fulfilled and independent lives.

Today, there are more than 250 Direct Support Professionals employed by The Arc NCR who make a difference for more than 300 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Harford and Cecil Counties – work that has, despite the many challenges presented throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, continued in full force.

“Our DSPs are the heart and soul of our mission,” says Shawn Kros, chief executive of The Arc NCR. “Whether they’re supporting people with differing abilities with daily tasks like meal preparation, personal care, maintaining a routine in their homes, or providing vital services to those still working essential jobs, our DSPs work diligently to help maintain an exceptional quality of life for those they interact with each and every day.”

Just one of The Arc NCR’s outstanding DSPs is Serifat Busari who began her employment with the organization in November 2018. Since, she has provided outstanding service and support to community members who rely on The Arc NCR’s life-changing programs and services to live, work and thrive. Although 2020 has presented many challenges due to COVID-19, including increased social distancing and personal protective equipment requirements, Busari has continually provided quality, compassionate care.

Busari enjoying a 2019 Community Partners event hosted by The Arc NCR, proudly displaying her DSP-II certification badge. She went on to earn her DSP-III certification in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Even though Serifat had a young son and a husband of her own to care for at home while navigating COVID-19, her passion, dedication and positive, warm energy remained constant,” says Kros.

And those are not the only qualities of Busari’s that have continually shined bright. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has remained diligent in advancing her career, having earned DSP-III certification, the highest level of credential DSPs can achieve from the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP). This nationally-recognized certification acknowledges DSPs who achieve more than 150 hours of accredited continuing education as well as demonstrated core competencies in areas like empowerment and advocacy, community living skills and supports, education, training and self-development, cultural competency, communication, professionalism, ethics and more.

“On behalf of The Arc NCR, we would like to extend a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to the many DSPs in our communities who are providing such a vital service to people with differing abilities,” says Kros. “Without their contributions, fulfilling our mission would not be possible.”

The Arc NCR is celebrating Busari and other DSPs September 13-19 with social media shoutouts and a “Most Outstanding DSP” award, a virtual appreciation concert lead by Joseph Hughes, The Arc NCR’s director of employment services on Wednesday, September 16 at 3 pm, and more. There is also a dedicated webpage members of the community can visit to learn about the organization’s vital workers. For information regarding a career as a DSP for The Arc NCR, call 410-826-7177 or visit

About The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region
For more than sixty-seven years, The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region has empowered people with differing abilities to live, work and thrive in the community by providing support services and advocacy to adults and children and their families in Harford and Cecil Counties. For more information, call 410-836-7177 or visit

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