As a disability support service we want to ensure that our participants get the most out of their time with our support workers and are empowered to reach their goals.

Whether it’s working together to build independence, boosting self-confidence, or even just enjoying more social activities, as disability support workers we should be doing everything we can to empower our participants so they can live a happy and fulfilled life.

So, what are some of the best ways to best utilise your dedicated support time and really empower your participant?  Check out these 5 easy ways:

  1. Encourage their community participation

Within a participant’s NDIS Plan is a special Social and Community Participation funding which can be used for a range of activities including:

  • playing sport or going to the gym
  • going to school or university
  • identification of local groups and activities
  • going to community programs and playgroups

By making sure this this funding is being used for social and community based activities it will help you’re your participant build and strengthen friendships and relationships. This of course will greatly help build self-esteem and prevent loneliness or isolation. It’s also a great way to try new things and to see what activities your participant’s  enjoys and thrives at – you might even find a new hidden talent!

  1. Learn a new skill alongside them

Learning something new can daunting for everyone – no matter their existing ability! If you are wanting your participant to learn something new or develop a different skill set, but you’re finding they are a little hesitant or nervous, trying finding an activity to learn together. You’ll find they’ll be much more agreeable if they know they aren’t doing it alone! This way you can also encourage each other along the way and help build rapport.

  1. Involve their friends and family

Make sure that your participant’s family & friends are aware of the support that’s needed, and more importantly what your participant’s goals are and what they hope to achieve. This way the work you’re doing with your participant is supported and encouraged well after you’ve clocked off for the day. For example, if you’re working with your participant to build independence, it’s important that their family is onboard so that they can share responsibilities and encourage independence with small tasks around the home.

  1. Make them part of the planning process

A really important part of empowering your participant and ensuring they get the most out of your time together, is to involve them in your planning and goal setting from the start. This will give them a sense of ownership over their journey and will help encourage them to participate in activities.

  1. Keep upskilling yourself!

While your busy supporting your participant to learn new skills, don’t forget to keep upskilling yourself! There are always new support methods, activities, and best practices to learn and by having a varied range of skills, tools and resources will help you give more value to your participant’s support journey.

Here at Real Community Services, we aim to provide flexible employment arrangements to support our staff and their families, and provide the opportunities for our staff to engage with us and the wider community.

We also pride ourselves on providing training opportunities for professional improvement, with many of our Support Facilitators, administration, finance and management staff previously joining us as part of our support team.

If you’re ready to begin your rewarding career as a disability support worker make sure to check out our current opportunities.

Photo Credit: Gold Coast Recreation & Sport Inc