Elwyn, a Media nonprofit that provides services for people with intellectual, developmental, and behavioral challenges, said Thursday that it would boost the starting wage for 1,470 direct support workers to $15 an hour from $10.53, a move that spreads the trend toward a $15 minimum wage from nonprofit health systems to the human services sector.

The change will take effect for about one-quarter of the direct service workers on July 1 and is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2021, Elwyn said. Once completed, the increases, including those for specialists and supervisors designed to prevent wage compression, are expected to cost Elwyn $10 million annually.

Elwyn had total revenue of $340 million in the year ended June 30, 2018.

The Inquirer checked to see where selected similar human services nonprofits stood on wages:

  • The much smaller Carson Valley Children’s Aid also said that it would raise its minimum wage for its 154 direct support workers to $15 an hour in July.
  • Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, which has operations across the country, said the minimum wage for 1,780 direct support workers in the Philadelphia region is $12.72 an hour, going up to $13.45 on July 1.
  • Melmark, with facilities in Massachusetts and South Carolina as well as Berwyn, said the minimum hourly wage for its 667 direct support workers is $12.50, up from $9.70 in 2016.
  • In New Jersey, Bancroft’s minimum rate for 1,700 direct support workers is $12 an hour.
  • At Woods Services, the starting wage for 955 direct care workers is $11.46 for a person with a high school diploma and no experience and $15.40 for someone with a four-year degree and one year of experience. Merakey said through a spokesman that it was unable to provide the information.

Some of the nonprofits said they would gladly pay more if public funding for the services they provide were better.