There is a multitude of job options in the health and support sector. Community support workers, accommodation support workers, home and community care workers, disability support workers, individual support workers, etc., are the jobs dedicated to serving people with special needs. In this blog, we will look into details of disability workers, job opportunities, and tips to become the best support worker.
Let’s start with defining disability.
What is Disability?
Disability is a condition where a person has impairment/s, which causes an individual to perform daily tasks differently than others. Some people may be born with certain disabilities, while others develop them due to some unfortunate events in their life. Disability is mainly of four categories.
It includes any physical disabilities or limitations that prevent the physical function of one or more limbs of a certain person. Cerebral palsy, Carpal tunnel syndrome, amputations and spinal cord injuries are examples of physical disability.
Mental disabilities affect an individual’s mind as well as perception. Anxiety, Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Depression, Eating disorders, Bipolar disorder, and Schizophrenia are some examples of mental disability.
It includes disabilities that individuals face when doing learning tasks like reading and writing. Genetics, living environments, injuries and other situations contribute to the development of this kind of disability.
It includes disabilities related to a person’s senses, such as sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing. Autism, sensory processing disorder, colour blindness, and full or partial blindness are some sensory disabilities.
Australians with disabilities were once passive welfare receivers with little control over whatever assistance was offered. But with the National Disability Insurance Plan, they are actively empowered.
What is a disability support worker?
Professionally supporting people with disability, aged people, and children are certainly a rewarding career. Talking about a disability support worker, also known as a personal care worker, is a certified personnel who provide personal, physical and emotional support to people with disability who require assistance with daily living. According to the Federal Government’s Department of Social Services Report, One in every five employees created in Australia over the NDIS transition phase will be in disability care.
What is the job description of a disability support worker?
The following tasks are included in the job description of a disability support worker.
- Personal care: It includes assistance with dressing, grooming, showering, medication assistance, etc.
- Domestic assistance: It includes meal planning, light household cleaning, laundry, etc.
- Social support/transportation: It includes assistance with social activities, shopping/groceries, and travelling to medical appointments.
- Support with aids and personal equipment: It includes assistance in standing or walking frames, wheelchairs, manual, sliding sheets, hearing aids and other physical aids.
- Emotional support: Disability support worker offers emotional support and often form close friendships with their client. Support work can occur at the client’s home or in specialised care environments.
- They provide emotional support and frequently build personal friendships with their clients. Support work can be done at the client’s home or in specialised care settings.
- They facilitate entertainment activities within the home and other social and outdoor activities.
- They also assist their clients with complex and/or difficult needs while monitoring their well-being and reporting progress.
Overall, the support workers first assess the support requirements of their clients and then offer services.
Benefits of Becoming a disability support worker
If you are a person who likes more than a desk job, then disability support employment is a great option. A disability support worker job keeps you busy and on your feet most of the time. As a disability support worker, you have the opportunity to assist people who have disabilities or impaired conditions. In fact, as a disability support worker, you can have a wide range of clients and hence play different roles.
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How much does disability support workers in Perth earn?
The salary of support workers differs in different states. As per Talent.com, based on 938 salaries, a Disability support worker in Australia earns $66,324 per year or $34.01 per hour. The experienced workers make up to $84,825 per year, while the entry-level positions start at $60,450 per year. According to Upskilled, the employment for Disability Support Workers is set to grow very strongly, i.e. from 341,800 in 2021 to 341,800 in 2026. According to Indeed, the average salary for a disability support worker is $38.99 per hour in Perth, WA.[ 117 salaries were reported].
Most of the organisations that deal with disability support worker jobs in Perth offer six weeks of annual leave and other annual bonuses, attractive shift patterns [ morning, afternoon and night duty], along with ongoing professional development and career growth opportunities.
Job Opportunities for Disability Support Workers in Perth
As a disability worker, you can go to the client’s home and offer services. You will assist, support, and care for the disabled ones. Further, you will provide care to clients who need assistance with everyday duties such as bathing and clothing, domestic tasks, grocery shopping, and so on. In addition, you can provide assistance to the client at their house so that they can live comfortably at home rather than visit or reside in an aged care institution.
Aged Care Facilities
An aged Care Facility is a premise where care and treatment of persons with different needs are given accommodation and other support facilities. As a disability worker, you will be serving the residents in the aged care facility.
NGOs work relentlessly to provide support to people with physical and intellectual disabilities. When working as a disability worker in an NGO, one should provide active support to the clients with their daily living needs and personal care, focusing on maximising engagement and participation. They also undertake report writing and shift notes and advocate for the client.
Disability Support Workers can also work in hospitals in rehabilitation. They may not have the authority to provide actual medical care to patients. Their support is part of a multidisciplinary team, leading to higher patient satisfaction.
There are schools that offer specialist education for students with learning difficulties, disabilities, and complex health needs. These students need help with learning and life skills. A disability support worker working in such schools is required to support students, including communication systems, personal care, mobility, etc. While working with children, disability workers must consider students’ dignity, privacy, equality and opportunities.
Respite care means having a professional to watch over the patient/client (living with a disability) so that family members can take a break from continuous care and visits. It can be just for an afternoon, overnight care, or for several days or weeks. Respite care can be In-home care, where services are provided in the client’s home and Out-of-home respite care, where care is provided in a facility setting. Out-of-Home Respite Care is found in Adult Day Care Centers, Residential Programs, and Respite Camps. As a disability worker, you can also work in any of these respite care options.
So, as a disability worker, you have the opportunity to work for various kinds of organisations. Not only that, you can offer home care services too.
Qualifications needed to be a disability support worker in Australia
To offer disability support services, willingness is not sufficient; a candidate must have certification. So if you are looking to support people, then you must have at least one of the following certifications.
Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) (CHC33015)
Certificate iii in Individual Support is a qualification needed to support people with ageing, disability or others. CHC33015 has a total 13 number of units which has 7 core units and 6 elective units. To achieve Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability), the candidate must complete at least 120 hours of work as detailed in the Assessment Requirements of the units of competency.
Certificate IV in Disability (CHC43115)
Upon completion of CHC43115 – Certificate IV in Disability, a candidate can have knowledge of how to offer services in community settings and clients’ homes. A person with this qualification will work to promote a person-centred approach. They can work without direct supervision and may be required to supervise and coordinate a small team. Certificate IV in Disability has a total of 14 units-11 core units and 3 elective units. To obtain Certificate IV in Disability qualification, the candidate must have completed at least 120 hours of work as described in the Assessment Requirements of the units of competency.
Which college to choose to study courses to become a disability support worker?
Bright College is one of the best educational institutions in Australia to pursue CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability). It has perfect educational learning environments to make students hold strong knowledge of current industry knowledge and practical skills. Disability courses at Bright College are competitive, and possess a high level of practical skills to make qualified candidates for the industry.
Contact us for further information on our Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) Course.
What else do you need other than qualifications to become a disability support worker?
So if you are looking to support people other than Certificate iii or Certificate iv in disability, you need to have the following skills or requirements.
You must have at least one year of experience in supporting disabled clients. Your experience as a support worker will play a key role in determining your salary. But as a beginner pursuing your new job, you can use your knowledge and experience to start off well.
Zeal to work
You must be energetic and well-driven to help services that bring or accentuate the well-being of people living with a disability.
Familiarity with NDIS Worker Orientation Module’
You must be familiar with NDIS Worker Orientation Module Quality, Safety and You to offer better support for people with disability.
A disability support worker is supposed to work with clients having different communication styles, levels of mobility or use of mobility aids, etc.; hence, you must have empathy to understand your clients and their needs.
Flexible and Understanding
A disability support worker helps clients realise their own goals and live as independently as possible. They also need to facilitate clients’ choices and help them have daily living skills. But they should not impose strict routines on their daily living and activities.
When you are offering person-centred disability service, you need to have excellent communication skills to help your clients maintain personal care and hygiene or mental health.
Adaptability and creativity
As a support worker and carer, you must have adaptability and creativity. While offering services to adult living, you must be willing to change your approach after getting feedback from your client.
You must have the resilience to endure the pressure, cope and bounce back from challenging situations while serving clients.
You must be proactive, i.e. take any action before the client asks for it. However, you must look at the policy of the organisation while doing so.
Some Important Documents
Some organisations ask the disability support worker to own proof of Vaccination against COVID-19, a Current CPR / First Aid Certificate, a Current and satisfactory Criminal Record Check and Federal Police Check, Australian Driver’s Licence(for transport), and a Registered and insured vehicle.
Say no to Assumptions
As a support worker, one should never assume what a person with a disability is capable of. You need to know the details of your clients and their other talents and eventually help them achieve their goals.
All in all, there can be challenging situations when you work as a disability support worker. Therefore, you have to be prepared, confident and competent.