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What Does a Direct Support Professional Do?

What Does a Direct Support Professional Do?

What does a Direct Support Professional do?

The individuals who reside at the CILA homes have developmental disabilities and need assistance with a variety of daily living activities. Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are the team members who support them with these activities. All CILA homes are staffed 24 hours a day with a dedicated team of DSPs.

Direct Support Professional responsibilities include:

  • Assist with daily task such as personal care, cooking and eating meals, personal hygiene and grooming, cleaning inside their home, and restroom assistance
  • Assures the safety & health of individuals is maintained at all times
  • Provide transportation to and from day training programs, employment, appointments, and group activities
  • Administer medications
  • Help individuals reach any personal goals that are listed in their Individual Service Plans
  • Empowers individuals to make their own decisions while providing guidance as needed

Characteristics of a DSP

A Direct Support Professional (DSP) is someone who wants to encourage and facilitate independence and choice for the individuals. My Life My Home implements person-centered planning, where the individual is making their own choices and preferences in their life, just as anyone else would.

DSPs should regard the individuals we support as equals and treat them as adults. My Life My Home uses Person-First Language which addresses individuals in a respectful manner and does not use institutional language, such as Feeders, Diapers, Bibs and Behaviors.

DSPs should enjoy interacting with the people we support. The team at My Life My Home comes from an array of backgrounds, including the Human Services field. Enjoying helping others and working with individuals with developmental disabilities is key!

DSPs Must be able to move intermittently throughout the day.

  • Must function independently, have personal integrity, have flexibility, and the ability to work effectively with coworkers.

Qualifications to become a DSP

My Life My Home offers paid training for all Direct Support Professionals upon hire. We welcome candidates who have previous DSP experience or are new to the human services field. We want you to feel comfortable with your role and responsibilities and provide training, including new hire orientation.

  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • A High school diploma or equivalent (GED) is preferred.
  • DSP Certification not required upon hire, but must be able to obtain DSP certification by the State of Illinois We help you with this process and provide paid training to become certified.

If you find the details about Direct Support Professionals interesting, we invite you apply to join our team! To see a current list of openings and for our online application, please go to:


What to Expect From Placement as a Parent or Guardian?

What to Expect From Placement as a Parent or Guardian?

What to expect from placement as a parent or guardian?

A transition to a CILA arrangement can be scary for individuals who have never lived outside of a family home. It can also be worrisome for their parents and families.

At My Life My Home, we emphasize that the transition should be slow, not fast. We recommend a series of meetings with employees and agency leadership, as well as a series of visits that get progressively longer. The visits at the CILA home may include an hour with family, lunch or dinner without family, an afternoon, an overnight visit and then a weekend/extended visit. We want to ensure individuals interested moving into the CILA will feel comfortable and safe in their new environment.

Individuals that need support and their families should be comfortable asking any questions. Be sure to ask our team and leadership any questions you may have.

How involved will a parent or guardian be once their loved one moves into the CILA?

You can be as involved or uninvolved as you want to be. We have a wide range of involvement among our families and guardians. 


What about money management?

Our team helps teach individuals proper money management skills.

Additional financial options to be added later.

What about medical care?

Our Director of Health Services and Registered Nurses provide medical oversight and administration. Direct Support Professionals within each CILA are certified to properly administer daily medications. We also coordinate and provide transportation to medical appointments with their primary doctor, dentist, and specialists such as podiatrists, etc. We also have a nurse on call 24 hours a day.  

What about visits?

Family members and guardians can visit their loved one at the CILA as often as they would like. Likewise, individuals may take short or extended visits home with their family. Please note, due to COVID, the visitation policy at My Life My Home may occasionally change.

The team at My Life My Home focus on the individual’s personal preferences and provide person-centered daily support. Living in a CILA should be as similar to living independently as possible. Except for routines set by individuals, there should be no “wake up times” or “snack times”.  Our employees do not dictate the day-to-day activities. Those are driven by the wants and needs of the individuals we support.

We hope you have found this information helpful. Interested learning more about the placement of a loved one in a CILA home? Please call our office at 618-588-7136 or fill out our Referral Form. (link to referral form)


Southern Illinois Community Support Services Announces Name Change to My Life My Home

Southern Illinois Community Support Services Announces Name Change to My Life My Home

Southern Illinois Community Support Services, a Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILA) provider, has changed its name to My Life My Home effective January 1, 2022. The name change and new company logo are part of a rebranding plan to better reflect what they do and what differentiates them from other providers.

A CILA is a community home for adults with developmental disabilities who also receive daily support. The organization’s first CILA opened in 1993 under Southern Illinois Living Centers. In 2000, Southern Illinois Community Support Services was established to manage three CILAs. The organization has since grown to eight locations throughout the Metro East.

The renaming process involved receiving feedback from several different stakeholders. Board members, employees, individuals and their family members had the chance to complete questionnaires and provide suggestions.

“We strive to provide the greatest all around care to individuals in their home,” said Michael Brave, CEO and President. “Through a person-centered planning model, they make individualized daily choices in their home. That is why we selected My Life My Home as our new name.”

Mary Lynam-Miller, Executive Director at My Life My Home stated, “We are an organization that shows flexibility and are able to adjust to individuals wants and needs. We find ways to connect with the individuals and ensure they feel happiness and fulfillment in their lives. We look for every opportunity to help them reach their goals.”

At My Life My Home, individuals with developmental disabilities are provided support to live as independently as possible within the community. My Life My Home manages eight Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILAs) in Belleville, Breese, Mascoutah and New Baden, IL. A dedicated team provides services with integrity and respect to ensure the highest quality of life tailored to each individual. Their mission is to passionately support each person in living a meaningful and satisfying life! For more information, please go to: