The Direct Service Professional (DSP) Training Stipend Program


The Direct Service Professional (DSP) Training Stipend Program is one of the workforce initiatives by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). Beginning September 1, 2023, DSPs may receive up to two (2) stipends in the amount of $625 (before taxes) when they complete online training courses approved by DDS. The trainings are available through the ARCA Learning Center. Service Providers are eligible to receive $150 for employer-related costs. All training courses must be completed by June 30th, 2024.

It is required that DSPs complete the Code of Ethics training first and select an additional training course:

  • An Introduction to informed Decision-Making for Direct Support Processionals
  • DSPs and the Home and Community Based Service (HCBS) Setting Rule: What You Need to Know

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the training stipend, DSPs, including some frontline supervisors and clinical staff, must meet the following requirements:

  • Work as a paid DSP an average of 10 hours or more per week;
  • Perform direct support tasks like skills development, guidance, and personal assistance to individuals served by a regional center as a regular part of their job duties;
  • Spend at least 50% of work hours doing direct support tasks; and
  • Are employed by a regional center vendor, or by a participant in the Self-Determination Program.

For the purpose of this training stipend program, the following are not eligible even if a portion of their work involves providing direct support:

  • Staff paid through a funding source other than the regional center, such as Medi-Cal, health insurance or a school district; with the exception of DSPs working in ICF/DD, ICF/DD-H, and ICF/DD-N;
  • Those who only provide intermittent service such as home modification, and/or meal delivery services;
  • Staff hired through temporary personnel agency;
  • Contract or 1099 workers;
  • On-call or PRN workers;
  • Volunteers; and
  • Administrative or supervisory staff, unless 50% or more of their time is spent doing direct support work.

Get Started

  1. Identify a primary contact within your agency for ongoing communication and processing of DSP stipends.
  2. Send an email to to request the Direct Service Professional (DSP) Training Stipend Agreement. In your email, please include the full name and contact information for your agency’s primary contact person.
  3. The primary contact within your agency will receive the DSP Training Stipend Agreement via DocuSign.
  4. Complete the e-signature process within DocuSign.

HRC developed a DSP Training Stipend Program handout that is recommended for service providers to share with DSPs prior to taking the training courses. The handout includes helpful registration tips and information regarding the DSP Training Stipend Program.

View DSP Training Stipend Program Webinar PowerPoint

View Handout for HRC DSP Training Stipend Program

If you have any questions, please email

Additional Resources

DDS Guidance on DSP Training Stipend Program

DSP Training Stipend Program Fact Sheet

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)