Daybreaks on Monday morning, as the sun rises in the south east at 6.02 am AWST. The mugginess begins to fill the air and I have an implementation meeting to attend.

The purpose of this meeting is to discuss and answer any questions that I may have about my NDIS plan.

The meeting runs smoothly, a note pad is filled with answers and some questionable scribbles, after the meeting concludes I shake the persons hand and leave.

Over the next few days I begin to seek out support workers and register with various disability support providers.

I have registered with two disability support providers and have engaged the services of a support worker, one is for what they call a ‘meet and greet’ and if that goes well I’ll hire them to accompany me to an event that I wish to attend next week.

But what I hear you ask is a support worker?

What is a Support Worker?

The definition of support worker is someone who looks after the well-being of vulnerable people. They help people to live their lives as independently as possible and support them in reaching their potential, through both practical and emotional support.

The type of care you provide will be tailored to the needs of the individual. It is an incredibly varied and rewarding role as you will be helping vulnerable people to improve their quality of life, achieve their goals and make a very real and positive difference to their lives.

You could work both independently and as part of a team, in a variety of different settings, such as in the individual’s home, a care home or a day centre.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Support Worker

The duties and responsibilities of a support worker are unique and varied because the people you support all have unique needs. Whilst this can be a very diverse role, the key focus is always on supporting a person to lead a fulfilling and more independent life.

On a day-to-day basis, support worker duties could include helping with meal preparation, household chores, administering medication, managing finances, accessing community facilities, going shopping, meeting friends, visiting the doctors, finding a job, or providing general emotional support.

Support Worker Responsibilities

  • Providing emotional support to individuals and their families.
  • Providing practical support for individuals and their families, such as helping with household tasks, personal care and paperwork.
  • Supporting and monitoring their healthcare needs, including administering medication and temperature checks.
  • Supporting them to pursue hobbies and interests.
  • Supporting the learning of new skills or gaining employment.
  • Teaching life skills, such as budgeting and paying bills.
  • Helping with everyday tasks such as meal preparation, writing a shopping list, going shopping or maintaining their housing tenancy.
  • Helping them to access community facilities and be included in community groups.
  • Understanding their communication needs and adapting your communication to each individual, e.g. sounds, tones, body language.
  • Working with other professionals, such as doctors and therapists, to ensure consistency of support.
  • Analysing an individual’s needs and drawing up a focused support plan.
  • Becoming both a role model and companion to the individual and uncovering shared interests, such as hobbies and outings.

How can a Support Worker help me?

A Support Worker will support you to understand and implement the funded supports in your plan and link you to community, mainstream and other government services. A Support Coordinator will focus on supporting you to build skills and direct your life as well as connect you to providers.

Your Support Worker will assist you to negotiate with providers about what they will offer you and how much it will cost out of your plan. Support coordinators will ensure service agreements and service bookings are completed. They will help build your ability to exercise choice and control, to coordinate supports and access your local community.

They can also assist you in planning ahead to prepare for your plan review.

Support coordinators will assist you to ‘optimise’ your plan ensuring that you are getting the most out of your funded supports.

What does a support worker do?

A support worker role will vary depending on the person you’re supporting, as well as seniority and specialism, but generally speaking you will be supporting vulnerable people with many aspects of their day-to-day living, helping them to take care of themselves and live a fulfilled life. Different people will need support for different reasons. For instance, they may have mental health needs, learning disabilities, medical conditions or physical disabilities.

As a support worker, you could be working in people’s homes, in the community or in health and social care settings, and may help them with tasks such as mobility, eating and drinking, or personal care.

Can I change to a different provider if I’m not happy with the support I am receiving?

Yes. You remain in control of your plan and have choice and control over who your providers are. If you wish to change providers, you should discuss it with your provider and review your service agreement. Depending on your service agreement, you may have agreed to give some notice before you change.

How will they will help you to achieve your goals?

What is their experience delivering supports?

What are their prices? What is included? How will they charge you?

Do they wish to discuss a notice period for ending an agreement?

Remember, you have choice and control in the supports you receive. This means you have the choice over who provides your supports and how they are provided.

There is a code of conduct that support workers must follow to read it click on the link below also here is a current price guide list as of December 2019

Price Guides and Related Resources 2019-20 – Effective 1st December 2019

NDIS Providers In Your State (AUSTRALIA ONLY) 

ACT Providers

ACT registered providers by name (PDF 2.6MB)

ACT registered providers by group (PDF 4.3MB)

NSW Providers

NSW registered providers by name (PDF 9.5MB)

NSW registered providers by group (PDF 16.2MB)

NT Providers

NT registered providers by name (PDF 1.5MB)

NT registered providers by group (PDF 2.2MB)

QLD Providers

QLD registered providers by name (PDF 10MB)

QLD registered providers by group (PDF 9.3MB)

SA Providers

SA registered providers by name (PDF 6.3MB)

SA registered providers by group (PDF 9.2MB)

TAS Providers

TAS registered providers by name (PDF 3MB)

TAS registered providers by group (PDF 4MB)

VIC Providers

VIC registered providers by name (PDF 12.6MB)

VIC registered providers by group (PDF 11.5MB)

WA Providers

WA registered providers by name (PDF 2.4MB)

WA registered providers by group (PDF 3.2MB)

Carry On The Conversation

As always, I can also be found on Twitter:@AutisticNickAU and on the Autistic Nick Facebook Page

Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.

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