Updated: Oct 12, 2020
We can all use a little bit of help sometimes. But finding the right person (or people) can feel like a big task. By knowing what you are looking for and how to ask for what you need, you can build a great support team to help you have more choice and control over your life.
How can a Support Worker help you?
A support worker is someone you pay to help you with your disability related needs. Having a support worker (or team of support workers) is an excellent tool to help you achieve your goals and support needs.
A support worker can:
Provide assistance and supports with your daily tasks and activities
Help you to achieve your NDIS goals
Offer physical and emotional support
Work with your family and other key support workers
Provide assistance and transport for medical appointments, or social and community events or activities
Help you to live as independently as possible
Some support workers work for disability service providers, while others may work on their own. If you’re wanting to engage a support worker who is independent, they may not be a NDIS registered provider. If you choose to have your NDIS plan looked after by a Plan Manager (or to Self-Manage) you can access both registered and unregistered providers, giving you more choice and control over who you can engage.
Build your Support Team
Under the NDIS, you now have more choice and control than ever to build the right support team for you. Before engaging any support workers, think about:
What supports you need
What supports you want
What supports have been funded in your NDIS plan
When you need your supports to commence
How many hours of support per week you require
Once you’ve worked out what you’re looking for, you can start considering support workers that tick your boxes. It’s a good idea to make a shortlist of potential support workers so that you can be sure you’re selecting the right one for you.
It’s likely you’ll be spending a lot of time with your support worker, so it’s important that you have a good relationship with them. Speak with potential support workers on the phone or in person to get a better sense of who they are.
When you’ve found the right support worker(s) for you, it might be a good idea to talk with them about creating a Service Agreement to ensure that the terms and conditions you have agreed upon are upheld, written down and signed by both of you. At First2Care, we advocate the importance of entering into a Service Agreement with each support worker you engage. As your Plan Manager, we can store a copy of all your Service Agreements for safe keeping in the event you need to refer to it for clarification or disputes.
Questions you can ask when hiring a Support Worker
If you have questions – just ask! When hiring a support worker, you want to make sure they are the right choice for you and your needs. One of the best ways to determine this is to ask questions.
What kind of experience do you have with people with disability?
What are your qualifications or current studies?
Do you have experience with my disability needs?
Do you have any limitations that might make this job challenging?
What made you decide to work with people with disability?
Do you have a driving licence and clean driving record and access to reliable insured transport?
What would you do if……… happened?
Are you comfortable around pets?
My beliefs and cultural background is……… Do you share these beliefs or are comfortable supporting them?
What are your interests outside of work/study?
What are your availability and notice requirements?
What is your preferred communication method – email, call or text?
Are you prepared to enter into a written and signed Service Agreement to reflect the terms agreed?
Manage your Support Team
Once you have your support team locked in, it’s time to think about how you’d like to manage them. Be sure to set your expectations, keep open communication, and if you have more than one support worker, keep your whole team in the loop so they can help to ensure there are no gaps in the support you’re receiving.
You can also advise your support worker that you’re Plan Managed by First2Care and we will pay your invoice accurately within 48 hours of receipt once their details have been verified.
Read more about the benefits of working with an independent, professional Plan Manager. Alternatively, contact our friendly team on 1300 322 273 or firstname.lastname@example.org.