Assistant (Direct Support Professional) Role Description

The Euclid gang pose with their Halloween outfits. Photo by Brian Taylor

L’Arche Greater Washington, D.C. centers around four communal homes and 16 adults who have intellectual disabilities who are members of an intentional, inter-denominational Christian community (the “core people” of the community).


Role Summary: Assistants provide skilled direct care supports to core people, ensure their safety and well-being, and support their integrated participation in all aspects of daily life.  Assistants will learn how to serve and how to relate to others in this unique and vibrant environment.


Reports To:  Service Team Leader



  • Build a relationship of mutual care and support with persons with disabilities
  • Observe the rights and personal dignity of others
  • Foster a home life of unity, mutual respect, and participation by all household members
  • Learn and follow the policies and procedures of L’Arche
  • Complete all required training in a timely manner
  • Perform a variety of tasks, duties, and responsibilities aimed at helping and empowering core people with the various tasks of daily life, including:
    • Assisting core people with such activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, hygiene, preparing for work, preparing to sleep at night, and using the restroom
    • Administering medications to core people
    • Assisting core people to achieve their Individualized Support Plan (“ISP”) goals—objectives generated by the core people with their supporting team of friends, family, and professionals—which may include, for example, participating in physical exercises, planning a vacation, pursuing a hobby, and/or performing personal tasks with a certain level of independence
    • Assisting core people with cooking, eating, and packing lunches for work
    • Assisting core people with cleaning—floors, dishes, trash, recycling, loading/unloading dishwasher, toilets, showers
    • Assisting core people with laundry
    • Assisting core people with tracking and organizing their personal finances
  • Transport core people to and from their jobs or day programs
  • Support core people in various settings as assigned by the Service Team Leader, including during medical appointments, social activities, work closures, and sick days
  • Communicate and advocate effectively with doctors and other professionals
  • Support core people during the night and/or assist the Overnight Awake Assistant as assigned by the Service Team Leader
  • Complete documentation and paperwork regarding ISP goals, medication administration, and other activities in a timely manner
  • Participate in a variety of meetings, including:  (1) House Service Team Meetings; (2) Training Meetings for learning relevant skills and renewing existing or obtaining additional certifications; (3) Supervision Meetings; (4) Team Accompaniment Meetings; and (5) other staff meetings called for various administrative purposes
  • Collaborate with other assistants and leaders to ensure a positive environment for all present and appropriate care for core people
  • Undertake other duties as assigned by the Service Team Leader


Qualifications and Skills

  • 20 years of age or older
  • Strong verbal and written English communication skills
  • College education preferred
  • Desire to work with, to learn from, and to relate to people with intellectual disabilities
  • Desire to work in the context of an intentional, inter-denominational Christian community and to respect beliefs and spiritual journeys of people from a variety of religious and philosophical backgrounds (L’Arche GWDC welcomes assistants from all faith traditions and those who do not have a faith affiliation)
  • Creativity, flexibility, attention to detail, and ability to organize time
  • Maturity as demonstrated by the ability to share responsibility for managing a home, work cooperatively as part of a team, take responsibility for health and safety of others, and work with diverse individuals
  • Valid driver’s license and ability to drive comfortably in the city
  • Ability to learn about intellectual disabilities, mental health, health disorders, simple nursing care, behavior management strategies, personal hygiene, etc.
  • Ability to commit for minimum of one year
  • Spanish proficiency highly desirable


Physical Requirements

  • Physical ability, with reasonable accommodation, to fulfill role responsibilities, including ability to transfer adults from wheelchairs to vehicles, beds, etc. and to lift wheelchairs into and out of vehicles
  • Satisfactory health certificate in accordance with regulatory requirements


L’Arche welcomes applications from people of all ages, races, genders, faiths, and sexual orientations. To apply, download the Assistant Application, complete and return it to Crisely Melecio-Zambrano at [email protected]