What is effective support work?

Effective support work includes planning activities that align with the client’s goals. Making sure that they challenge the client to help build their capacity. It’s about incremental progress, and small achievements.

Yet unfortunately, far too many providers are still stuck in the old ways of support work. Provide more of a babysitting service rather than support work. This is not good for the client, and it does not represent value for money under the scheme.

This type of support work needs to stop.

The importance of planning

The client needs to be known incredibly well, and both themselves, their family, history, and journey must be seen holistically. Have you made the time to go through their NDIS plan? Have you explained exactly how you can help your client achieve what they want to achieve? If not, now is the time to.

It is also incredibly important that you manage expectations with your client early. Be honest, be authentic, and be real with them. Make sure you plan your activities with your client. Develop an actual plan, not something that is just activity focused.

The plan should also be about aligning activity with a goal or series of goals. This does not mean that within each session you will tick off a big goal. It may mean the completion of little steps or smaller goals that are an important part of the process in achieving or realising a bigger objective.

Your client should be driving force in the planning process, you should merely be the facilitator or guide.

The right activities

Your client activities should have intent. That is, the activity should have a purpose and should play an important role when the client participates in the activity in contributing to the successful achievement of either steps towards a goal or completing a goal.

There has to be a focus on building the clients capacity. Providers and clients need to be reminded that NDIS is an insurance scheme, the objectives are to enhance the client’s social and economic participation. Therefore, every single shift and session should count and matter.

Document for success and celebrate achievement

Many providers/support workers are used to documenting and recording information concerning supports provided. That’s usually as far as the documentation goes however. This is a legacy issue of the disability sector. And there needs to be an evolution, there needs to be an even greater focus on documenting for success.

What this means is, more information needs to be recorded around the activity, the supports required to facilitate the activity, the key objectives achieved/reasons why they weren’t met or partially met, and strategy moving forward. There needs to be a focus on continuous improvement. Your documentation should align and be complimentary to your activities plan.

Develop a culture of providing feedback and celebrating achievement. You should be providing regular feedback through your participant summary.

As milestones are achieved, make sure you highlight and celebrate these moments with your client and those important to them. Your provider and support worker should always be focussed on building your capacity to, either, have a reduced need for support or no longer need them at all. It shouldn’t be about trying to trap you in the scheme and keeping you as a client longer than necessary.

That’s the Butter Fish difference. We want to give you choice and control. We want you to grow, to develop and go on to no longer need us.

For more information about Butter Fish Services and how we can help, get in touch with us on 0477 333 727 or send us a message.

Posted in
Don MacAskill

Don MacAskill

Don MacAskill is a former Chief Executive with over a decades experience in disability sector. He regularly presents at conferences with a particular focus on creating a successful business model under NDIS.