Instead of relying on a single Support Worker alone, it is much better to have a great team of Support Workers who will be available to take on extra hours to ensure there are no gaps in supporting you. However, building your support team can also be challenging. In this article, we will offer some tips to help you form your team. Read on.
Why It’s Better to Have a Team of Support Workers
- Ensuring continuity of support even when a Support Worker gets sick, goes on a holiday or is unable to provide support on a given day
- Choosing a qualified Support Worker who can take on roles based on their knowledge, skills, and experience.
- Avoiding risks of relying only on one Support Worker
- Meeting people with different interests, personalities, backgrounds, and from different cultures.
5 Tips to Build Your Team of Support Workers
1. Engage Participants in the Process
The participant who needs the assistance of a Support Worker should have choice and control over who will be providing their support, especially relating to specific skill sets required and the person they would be comfortable with. It is an opportunity to communicate your opinions and/or preferences in order to make important decisions with your team of Support Workers.
2. Allow a Support Worker to Take the Lead
When choosing the members of your Support Worker team, you can also allow your current Support Worker to actively participate in helping you find other members. In turn, this promotes leadership and team-building and also allows a Support Worker to create a team based on their professional judgment and consideration of your needs and requirements.
When on-boarding new Support Workers, buddy shifts with current Support Workers are a key step to ensuring new Support Workers are trained sufficiently and have someone on hand who they can ask questions.
3. Identify Your Needs
One of the purposes of building a team of Support Workers is to ensure that specific skill requirements and roles are filled by qualified professionals. Therefore, it is best to conduct an assessment to identify your needs by considering the following points:
- Will you need a Support Worker for personal care support or will this be for community outings? Or, is it a mix of both?
- Do you have specific physical support requirements – eg transfer using a hoist?
- Will you need assistance with meal preparation and domestic duties?
- Do you need support from someone who has a driver’s licence so you can get out and about to attend classes, shop, participate in a sport, travel, and other community activities?
4. Narrow Down Your Options
With a team of Support Workers, you can get the assistance of people with varied skill sets. Once your needs and requirements have been set and the candidates for the Support Worker role are identified, you can narrow your search to identify the people who will complete your team, which may include a person specific for social outings and another for personal care supports.
5. Be Clear with Your Requirements
Specific roles have different requirements that can be captured in job descriptions and position descriptions, and accordingly, it is best to create a clear description of the positions that need to be filled. In turn, this will help to open up a discussion about what your Support Worker would be required to do. Moreover, accurately capturing the requirements of a role will help the Support Worker understand their role, and assist the person in charge in supervising the team. Position descriptions or Individual Support Plans establish role clarity, guide the induction process, identify training requirements (if needed), and provide a clear performance benchmark.
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Need help with building a great team of Support Workers? Living My Way can help you. Contact us so we can assist you in finding independent Support Workers that fit your position description. Send us a message today!