Jodi Tofstad – Washington Direct Service Professional of the Year

When DSP Jodi Tofstad starts her workday in Puyallup, Washington, she includes her clients in almost every activity. She has a close bond with the individuals she cares for and knows them all well. Jodi has a gentle and calm demeanor, and she makes sure that all clients each get her attention evenly. Several of her clients are very active and trying to stay focused on one task is difficult. Jodi keeps them engaged by working with them the entire time, praising their work and providing encouragement. Each time she works alongside them, they stay on task longer.

Jodi understands the importance of positive family relationships and makes sure that her clients continue to have connections with their family and friends. She had a client whose mother had to make the difficult decision to move due to health problems. She kept her daughter in the program but moving away meant that she would no longer have frequent visits. Jodi knew that this would be hard on both her client and the mother due to their close relationship. She set up FaceTime calls and, on her own time, took her client for regular visits with her mother. 

Jodi is a team player and always has her focus on the clients. She has a wonderful, pleasant attitude and loves her job. She does not shy away from anything she is asked to do, even if it brings her out of her comfort zone. Jodi is well-liked by all coworkers, members of the management team, family members and guardians of the individuals she serves.