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Celebrating Direct Support Professionals


Celebrating Direct Support Professionals

Direct Support Professional Recognition Week is September 12 -18. This week sets aside time to highlight the selfless work of direct support professionals locally and nationwide. 

DSPs are an integral part of the lives of people in the community who have autism, intellectual or developmental disabilities. They are the heart and soul of everything we do at Casmir Care Services to help our individuals live fulfilled and happy lives.  

In celebration of Direct Support Professionals, we acknowledge all of our dedicated direct support workers. We celebrate their hearts and the outstanding work they do to support people with disabilities. 

We thank them for their tireless work and the difference they make in the lives of those we serve!

Two of our staff we especially want to mention are:

Daisy Williams

Casmir Care Services Inc. Residential Team is honored to spotlight Ms. Daisy Williams as an exceptional member of our DSP circle. Ms. Williams’ humility, hard work, and dedication to duty go back many years but have been even more evident during the pandemic. Daisy has been the mediator between the DSPs and Management. She is like a mother and grandma to some of our individuals who love her dearly. She has frequently been called “the last man standing” when all others give up. Casmir Care Services is very fortunate and blessed to have her on our Residential Team. We wish to express our appreciation and gratitude for her immeasurable dedication and endeavors untold. 


Lisa Briggs-Petter

The HCBS Team would like to recognize Lisa Briggs-Petter as an outstanding DSP. We have seen her hard work and dedication to our individuals. She ensures their health and safety needs are met. Lisa exemplifies what a direct support professional should be. She makes the needs of her individuals a priority before anything else. Regardless of any other outside entities, she is always there. We can always count on her to show up and provide the best service.

A Family Business Built on Principles of Family-Centered Care

Improving the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities through care, comfort and compassion is Casmir Care Services’ mission. Fostering that mission is Director of Operations, Godwin Nwoga. Godwin has been with Casmir for the past ten years and while his educational background wasn’t in-home care, showing compassion is a family tradition.

Casmir, a family business built on principles of family-centered care needed Godwin to bring his finance and project management skills to the team. While this may be a stretch for some, it wasn’t for Godwin because his mother raised him to care for others.

“Right from a very young age, my parents, especially my mom, taught us a lot about compassion and being compassionate to people who you don’t stand to get anything from. Especially people who are in need,” he said. “It’s like an in-bred thing for us all in my family.”

In addition to his mother ingraining caring into him, Godwin says that growing to care for the individuals and families that the Casmir Care team supports wasn’t hard for him.

“It wasn’t difficult adjusting. True, my background was in operations, management and finance. But I grew to love the population and with the compassion I already had, it wasn’t difficult. It’s all based on family values, which is what our company embraces and champions on a day-to-day basis.”

And while Godwin is in charge of the day-to-day operations at Casmir Care, that doesn’t mean that he’s behind a desk all day doing administrative work. He’s often visiting homes, helping with, and getting to know the Direct Support Professionals and the individuals that Casmir Care serves.

Godwin acknowledges that the industry has changed over the past year and that Casmir Care has had to adjust. In addition to having purchased additional PPE and other safety equipment to protect those in their care and employment, temporary satellite locations were created so that staff could have a place to stay without putting their own families at risk.

There has also been a planned effort to ensure that staff, individuals and their families are up to date on the latest information, including providing CDC research on the vaccine. Casmir Care Services knows that engaging everyone about the need for immunity and getting the vaccine will bring the country through the pandemic.

Godwin praised the Casmir Care staff for the work they’ve done over the past year. “We had to dig deep to be flexible and do things differently, in line with the unprecedented changes due to the pandemic. But we’ve had exceptional staff who have gone the extra mile to make sure that our individuals are taken care of. We have staff that have gone above and beyond,” he said. “But the changes we experienced did not alter our philosophy for caring for our individuals. We’ve tried to stay strong on our vision – providing quality, effective, person-centered, flexible and innovative services.”

Speaking of the community, Godwin wants Casmir Care Services to remain a bridge in their community, in addition to providing in-home care. Finding employment for those with intellectual disabilities, helping with transportation to their jobs, and coming together with community partners becomes a powerful resource to the individuals. “The families can’t do it alone,” said Godwin.

Having staff who are going the extra mile during hard times isn’t luck. Casmir Care Services takes great efforts to make sure that everyone who works for them understands that compassion for others is key to success at Casmir. Godwin says that from the start of the employment process, the agency preaches compassion. And there’s also continuous training taking place.

But having compassion isn’t the only skill that Casmir Care Services is looking for in quality employees, said Godwin. Casmir is also looking for patience, flexibility, honesty, creativity, and empathy. Attention to detail is essential as well. A lot is going on with individuals, and going that extra mile is imperative in keeping individuals happy and safe. Also, engaging individuals and working towards their goals and milestones is a skill Casmir Care expects of their caregivers. 

“Over time we hope that they (the employees) understand it’s not about financial gains – it’s about being able to add value to the lives of other people,” he said. “I want employees to look beyond this being just a job, it’s a profession. We’re coming to interact as a family. To bring about a change.”

And the family atmosphere is what Godwin enjoys so much about working at Casmir Care Services. There’s no red tape, and he has an open door and phone policy where employees can speak with management without fear of persecution. That open door allows for innovation and conversations that help make Casmir Care a better company.

When not spending time with his work family, Godwin enjoys spending time with his wife and children. Relaxing isn’t hard for him because he knows that he and his Casmir Care team have done their best for individuals and their families.

“I am able to relax at home with my family, with the understanding that in our capacity and to the best of our ability, we have done our best to ensure the health and safety of our individuals,” Godwin said.

Celebrate Halloween Safely

Happy Autumn!

Halloween is right around the corner.  Halloween traditions will look different this year to keep everyone safe during the COV​ID-19 pandemic, but families can still have fun while avoiding exposure to or spreading the virus.

The CDC offers the following safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween: 

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

Visit these websites to learn more about safely celebrating this Halloween:
The Autism Community In Action
American Autism Association
10 alternatives to turn a tricky Halloween into a treat for your child with autism
Autism and Sensory Friendly Virtual Halloween Party

Prepare Before An Emergency Occurs

As the caregiver of an adult with intellectual or developmental disabilities, you may face extra obstacles that make reacting to emergencies a challenge. It’s crucial to plan for your regular needs and know what you would do if they become limited or unavailable. 

You can maximize your peace of mind if you have a plan in place. Visit these websites for more information about how to prepare before an emergency occurs.

PA Emergency Preparedness Guide
Disaster Preparedness for Peoples with Disabilities  

PTSD Awareness Month

When some people hear about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), they often think of members of the military who return from war zones and react to loud noises. However, while veterans can get PTSD, it is a mental health problem that can happen to anyone. June is PTSD Awareness Month, so here is some information about this disorder and how health care workers and family members can assist those who suffer from it. 

Approximately 3.5% of American adults have PTSD. But, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, anyone of any age and occupation can develop PTSD, including children. PTSD begins when someone is exposed to shocking, frightening, or dangerous experiences such as abuse, national disasters, combat, and accidents. While traumatic incidents do cause hesitation or fearfulness, some people eventually recover. It’s when that recovery process doesn’t begin after a certain amount of time that someone could have PTSD. 

Brief History 

While PTSD has been around since the beginning of time, it hasn’t always been acknowledged as a disorder. In fact, it was often mocked or thought to be a cause of weakness. There is documentation of soldiers in the Civil War having anxiety and trouble breathing. Writers such as Shakespeare, Charlotte Bronte, and F. Scott Fitzgerald have included characters in their works that today would be determined to have PTSD. After World War I, some soldiers were diagnosed with what was then called ‘shell shock.’ However, shell shock was not a medical term, so treatments, if they happened at all, were often crude and harsh. Then the American Psychiatric Association (APA) included Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome in its manual for mental disorders in 1980. This helped distinguish PTSD from being considered a failing to it being acknowledged as something that affected people and that they did not have control over. And, as a medical diagnosis, opened the way for those who have it to begin receiving care and treatment.

Warning Signs of PTSD

While PTSD affects everyone differently, some signs that may indicate someone is having problems adjusting to a traumatic situation include: 

  • Being easily startled 
  • Avoiding areas that remind them of the event 
  • Flashbacks 
  • Irritability 
  • Nightmares or night terrors 
  • Irrational behavior 
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities 
  • Depression 

These symptoms aren’t inclusive, and everyone reacts differently to trauma. However, when the incident continues to impact someone after more than a few months and begins to interfere with their daily lives, they may have PTSD. 

How To Treat PTSD

While people who have PTSD may feel it’s something that they have to live with, the good news is that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is treatable. Treatment may be through therapy, medication, or combining the two based on what the patient and their doctor decide will work best for them. To get started in finding help, the PTSD Alliance suggests speaking with a family doctor, finding support groups, or for military veterans, contact the Veterans Crisis Line for assistance. 

When Someone You Know Has PTSD

Dealing with someone who is affected by PTSD can be very hard on friends, co-workers, and family members. The National Center for PTSD states that living with someone with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can be traumatic in itself. That’s because the avoidance mechanism that occurs with someone who has the disorder affects how they interact with those around them. For example, the symptoms can significantly affect children whose parents have PTSD and can cause them to feel as if it’s their fault or hinder their ability to learn how to interact with others. 

What can someone do to help someone they know with PTSD? First and foremost, be patient with them. Their symptoms aren’t controllable and might be as frustrating to them as the symptoms to you. Being patient might not be easy, but it is helpful to the person who has the disorder. Also, make sure to educate yourself about the condition. In addition to the National Institute of National Health and the National Center for PTSD, many national and local groups work diligently to providing assistance and help. Also, it may be necessary for family members to enter therapy independently to work through their feelings. 

Casmir Care Services is a leading agency that provides quality, effective, person-center services in the individual’s home. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities through care, comfort, and compassion. Our Direct Care Professionals treat all individuals and their families with respect and trained specifically to work with those with developmental issues. If you are looking to find in-home support for your family member, contact us to see how we can help.

Tips For Dealing With Burnout During A Pandemic

Dealing with burnout during a pandemic can be hard on caregivers, individuals and their family members. Isolation, fatigue, fear and stress can all contribute to that burnout. Many are feeling lonely with communities requiring self-distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic and are not sure how to deal with the constant mental exhaustion. Here are some suggestions to help coping with burnout during a pandemic. 

Take Mental Breaks 

Working from home, being home more often and having more duties because employment hours have changed can exhaust people. An easy way to get a little relief is to take mental breaks. Caregivers can turn on music that individuals love since music has been proven to help relieve stress. Some apps and websites play the sounds of rain, the ocean or a fireplace that might calm you down. 

Does the individual you assist enjoy word or mind puzzles? A word search or a game of chess can take their mind off of things. Even just sitting outside to look at the clouds can be an activity for individuals and their caregivers to take a mental break. 

Have A Support System

Everyone is feeling isolated from their friends and family. An excellent way to beat that isolation is to schedule a special date and time for everyone to gather together online. It might be on Zoom conference or a group text. A fun way to make it memorable is to plan similar appetizers or have a meal together online to make you feel closer. 

You can also write cards to people you know. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion or a holiday. Getting something happy in a mailbox makes everyone feel good. You don’t have to write a long letter. Just letting people know you’re thinking about them and miss them can make a difference. 

If you feel there isn’t anyone in your circle to connect with, you can write letters to the elderly through LoveYourElders.org. The non-profit’s goal is to help bring joy to the elderly through letters. These days, it’s even more important since many older adults stay home to stay healthy and might be isolated from others. 

Provide Self-Care 

Caregivers will often give their all to the individuals they assist. During a pandemic, providing mental and physical support can take a toll on Direct Support Professionals and the individual’s family members. Anyone who is providing care to others must remember to give themselves self-care. That could be getting a manicure, taking a long bath, stopping for your favorite holiday coffee, sleeping in on your day off or anything that you enjoy doing and will help you decompress. Self-care can bring balance to your life, which translates positively when you’re supporting others. 

Get Enough Sleep 

Sometimes if you’re under a lot of stress, it can affect your sleep pattern. You might notice that you’re having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or are staying up later than usual. Ensuring you get the proper amount of sleep for your body helps with your physical and mental help. It also can be a safety issue if you’re working while have sleep deprivation. Some tips to help with better sleep: 

  • Turn off your computers, tablets and phones at least an hour before going to bed. The blue light that comes off of them can make it harder to sleep. 
  • Try to go to bed and wake up around the same times every day, even on days off. 
  • Take a warm bath or shower before you go to bed. It can help relax your body and help you get to sleep. 

Eat Well & Exercise 

Eating well and making sure to get some exercise will help caregivers and individuals deal with burnout. Eating a well-balanced meal that includes a variety of vegetables and whole grains will help your body deal with the stresses of the day. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a few treats, as long as it’s in moderation. Try to get some exercise in too. The movement doesn’t have to be strenuous. Dancing in your living room, taking a short walk every day around your block, joining Silver Sneakers or doing stretch exercises will help. With many gyms or community centers closed, look online for exercise programs you can follow.  

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help 

The most important thing for caregivers and their individuals to remember is not to be afraid to ask for help if they need it. Speaking with physicians, medical advocates, mental health professionals or even letting someone close to you know you’re struggling might help. 

Life during a pandemic is stressful. But using tips for dealing with burnout during a pandemic will help caregivers and individuals make it through. Casmir Care Services encourages caregivers and individuals not to let their guard down, even while practicing these tips. Remember to wear a mask, social distance 6′ between others and wash your hands regularly with soap and hot water. 

Casmir Care Services is here for their Direct Support Professionals, the individuals they work with and their families. If you have any questions or need assistance from Casmir Care Services during this difficult time, visit our Contact Us page to send us a message on how we can help. 

Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week

September 13-19, 2020, is Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week! It’s a time to celebrate and acknowledge Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who assist, support, and care for individuals who require help in their daily lives. 

proclamation was issued by Governor Wolf to recognize and appreciate the dedication and contributions DSPs make in the lives of the elderly, veterans, and those with intellectual, developmental, or other disabilities.

Mark Davis, President and CEO of PAR (Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability) states, “This year’s proclamation is particularly important as DSPs have made sacrifices during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the individuals they support healthy, happy, and safe.” Davis continued, Some DSPs have lost their lives or lost loved ones during the pandemic. DSPs have stepped up to the plate in a major way in Pennsylvania and we thank Governor Wolf for taking this step to honor them.”

Our work wouldn’t be possible without the tremendous support of our Direct Support Professionals. We are very grateful to have them as part of the Casmir Care Services family!

Autism Awareness Month

Children and adults who have autism face many challenges in their lifetime. According to the Center for Disease Control, over 5 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. And while physically, those with autism don’t look different, the way they interact is different. To help teach others about autism, how it affects those diagnosed and the impact on their families, April has been designated National Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month.

Originally called National Autism Awareness Month, some autism groups have begun to transition to calling it National Autism Acceptance Month. Autism Society President and CEO Christopher Banks said in a statement that they’ll always be working to spread awareness. Still, acceptance is a significant barrier “to finding and developing a strong support system.”

To help foster both awareness and acceptance, here is some more information about autism, how it affects individuals and their families, and how Casmir Care Services can provide assistance to those diagnosed with autism.

What Is Autism?

Also referred to as autism spectrum disorder, autism is a developmental disability. People who have autism have problems with communicating, interacting, and engaging. They sometimes also have repetitive and obsessive habits that can impact them and their families. Autism can’t be cured, does not have one standard set of symptoms and there is no known cause. But there are behavioral and educational treatments used by therapists and doctors, to help with development.  

How It Affects The Family

Having a family member who has autism can be hard on parents, siblings, and grandparents. Autism Speaks reports that 1 in 54 children was diagnosed with autism in 2020, affecting many family members who need to develop skills to help with their child’s success. Some with autism are nonverbal, engage in harmful behaviors such as head banging, have emotional breakdowns or even experience sleep issues. All of the challenges involved with autism impact individual’s families on multiple levels. Parents want their children to be happy and safe, but if your child can’t communicate their needs clearly, it can be frustrating and disappointing. Siblings of autistic children may feel neglected or ignored. And even short trips to the store can be different with an autistic child.

Autism Doesn’t Limit You

Being diagnosed with autism doesn’t automatically mean that there will be no successes in the individual’s life. No matter how small, celebrating achievements can be a way to help the family see the progress their autistic family member is making. It’s also important to remember that every autistic person doesn’t have the same symptoms or react in the same ways. Autistic individuals are just that – individuals. They experience life in their way, just like every other human being. When you think of autism, be open-minded to what people who have autism can achieve. Many famous autistic people, including Apple founder Steve Jobs, animal scientist and professor Temple Grandin, artist Andy Warhol and chess champion Bobby Fisher have had great careers. Being diagnosed with autism doesn’t mean an individual won’t be able to function in society or not have a job.

Support For The Entire Family

Having support for families of individuals with autism is very important for many reasons. Individuals may need medical, physical, and mental health treatment. Some parents and families need professional counseling to help with the emotions involved in living with an autistic child. There are also autism support groups that can help by providing a sounding board for questions and also help individuals learn social skills.

One important form of support, no matter the autistic individual’s age, is having someone who is a trained professional on hand to help when parents or siblings need to take a step back. Being able to take a break, run errands or go on a short trip is important for a care taker’s own well-being. Knowing that a trained professional is with the autistic individual during those times can help family members breathe and return refreshed.

Casmir Care Services is a leading agency that provides quality, effective, person-center services in the individual’s home.  Our mission is to improve the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities through care, comfort, and compassion. Our Direct Care Professionals treat all individuals and their families with respect and are trained specifically to work with those with developmental issues. If you are looking to find in-home support for your family member with autism, contact us to see how we can help.

Image by karelinlestrange from Pixabay

Top Reasons For Being A Direct Support Professional with Casmir Care Services

direct support professional

Working as a Direct Support Professional is one of the most rewarding jobs you will ever have. Here at Casmir Care Services, we work with individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities within Pennsylvania. Working daily with individuals and their families brings our team delight because we want to make their lives a little more comfortable and enjoyable. While there are many reasons this work is rewarding, here are the top five reasons why being a caregiver is so important to us:

Providing Help to Individuals and Their Families

Working with individuals is one of the most significant benefits of home care assistance. Their joy and energy help give our days purpose. While the individuals might have disabilities, that doesn’t stop them from enjoying life. Our Direct Support Professionals help them lead their lives the way the individual wants. We’re here to help with any of their needs and provide companionship and a shoulder to lean on. 

Assisting family members is just as important to us. In addition to providing all-day care for individuals, we also offer family members a break to run errands or the chance to rejuvenate themselves. Providing this option is an integral part of self-care. We’re proud that we can offer these breaks to take care of whatever needs will support their family members. 

One-on-One Interactions 

Our Direct Support Professionals’ one-on-one interactions with individuals are memorable. We are privileged to learn about their lives. Because we have continual interaction with the individuals, we can know more about what they enjoy doing.

One-on-one interactions with individuals and their families are not only beneficial for us but also them. They understand that we know the highs and lows of their lives, and we can adjust our routine for the day as needed. Having different caregivers every day doesn’t give the individuals the personal attention they expect. Having a steady Direct Support Professional is essential, not only for them but also for their daily household and medical needs. The needs of the individuals is the #1 reason we’re here.


Something New Every Day 

Every day is a new day at Casmir Care Services! There are lots of jobs out there that are repetitive or can get boring very quickly. Not with us. We encourage our Direct Support Professionals to learn new skills and spend time with the individuals to understand them better. 

We also know that individuals’ needs can change from day-to-day. Being able to adjust to those situations and knowing what will make the individual the most comfortable makes us proud. No one would ever call working with us boring!  

Providing Options 

Giving individuals the option to be in their own living space is very important to us. Having that familiarity of home can make many individuals comfortable, help give them independence, help with medication administration, accompanying on trips to the doctor, and allow them to integrate into their community through vocational training and finding a job. 

Casmir Care Services can also provide, in some cases, non-medical transportation, behavioral support, and many other services. Having those options is vital. Ensuring that comfort levels are acceptable while providing medical and other care is our goal. We want individuals and their families to be happy.

It’s A Calling 

Being a Direct Support Professional involves many emotions and the ability to determine when control of a situation is necessary. That ability to juggle balls while being respectful of individuals is why we consider it a calling. It takes an extraordinary person to work as a caregiver. While Casmir Cares Services is always here to support, we know how important being sensitive yet in control is for both the Direct Support Professional and the individual’s health and safety. We love what we do and are always looking to hire those who can provide various skills.

Being a caregiver is not for everyone. We’re looking for Direct Support Professionals who will provide individuals and their family members with respect while building a good working relationship. The calling of helping others with their medical and other needs is special. We love our Direct Support Professionals and understand how critical they are to help those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Work with Us

These are just a few reasons why we love what we do at Casmir Cares Services. Interested in learning more about our Direct Support Professionals position? Ready to join the team? Visit our Careers page to learn about open positions. Or email us at support@casmircares.com for more information. 


Practical Tips to Reduce the Effects of Stress

Have you been feeling stressed because of the disruption in routine, schedule, and environment that the Coronavirus pandemic has caused?
Stress can be harmful to your health, but there are ways to manage it. Here are some practical tips to reduce the effects of stress:
Be aware.
Recognize the signs of stress on your body: difficulty sleeping, irritability, feeling depressed, and having low energy.
Exercise regularly.
Regular activity releases endorphins, can improve concentration, and enhance sleep, which can often be negatively affected by stress.
Stop and smell the flowers.
Scientists have discovered that inhaling certain fragrances can reduce stress levels.
Take a deep breath.
Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. When you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax.
Stay connected.
You are not alone. Keep in touch with people who can provide emotional support and practical help.





Our Vision

A leading agency providing quality, effective, person-centered, flexible and innovative services in Pennsylvania and surrounding states.

Contact Us

4950 Parkside Ave, Suite 400,
Philadelphia, Pa 19131
Phone: 267-292-3116
Fax: 267-292-4879

We Are Hiring!

Find a purposeful career by joining our staff! Casmir Care Services is currently hiring:


Direct Support Professionals (DSP) – Per Diem 

Direct Support Professionals (DSP) 

Office Manager / Front Desk Receptionist 

Van Driver