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What You Need To Know About Becoming A Disability Support Worker

29 September, 2022

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of making a difference to another person’s life. As a disability support worker, you can use your skills and emotional intelligence to help others live their life to the full. 

What does a disability support worker do?

Disability support workers provide care and support people living with physical disabilities or mental health conditions. Improving their quality of life - and their ability to live more independently - is the core mission of this job. 

You can expect: 

  • Variety. The versatility of this role means that each day is different. You may support someone on an outing or engaging in a new activity, or you may assist someone in their home or to get to an appointment. 

  • Collaboration. Each day is a new opportunity to connect. Support workers work closely with the families of those living with a disability, and can also help with looking for particular signs of common conditions including dementia and autism. 

  • Professional development. As a disability support worker, you get to be part of a friendly and dynamic team. With the ability to learn from your peers, and training opportunities, we will support you in supporting others.  After all, research shows that being part of a team increases job satisfaction. 

  • Feel-good moments. Serena is a care-coordinator at Focus Care and she began her journey as a disability support worker. She speaks about the positive shift from working as a salesperson to working in a support role. ‘...Now I come home from a day at work, and I think to myself, how many people have I helped today? It’s a beautiful change’.

Being a disability support worker isn’t your typical 9-5 office job. 

It offers flexibility with hours, and an opportunity to engage in a diverse range of work. Most importantly, it is the work of making a difference to others and yourself

Do you need qualifications to become a disability support worker?

Whatever the title of the role you apply for (community support worker, disability care worker, NDIS support worker), there are a few essential to-do’s. 

You’ll need to : 

Get your NDIS Worker Screening Check

To ensure the safety of people with disabilities, all potential support workers in Australia have to undertake an NDIS worker screening check

Though it can sound intense, don’t worry - it’s a simple check to assess the potential risk to the people you’d be working with as a disability support worker. 

The check considers any: 

  • Criminal history, 

  • Workplace misconduct, 

  • AVOs, 

  • Information about past employment, 

  • Juvenile offences,

  • And any other relevant information that may indicate potential risk to a person with disability.

Get in touch with your state or territory agency to organise your screening. Identification is required and a fee is to be paid (fees vary according to state/territory).

Complete the NDIS orientation module

Most workplaces require their disability support workers to complete the NDIS orientation module. This 90 minute online course explains a worker’s obligations under the NDIS Code of Conduct. 

Keep track of your vaccinations

To keep you - and those you’re supporting - safe, the government has put mandates in place around COVID-19 vaccinations. All disability support workers must have three doses of COVID-19 vaccinations. 

Read more about this mandate here. 

Be open to further study 

In the industry, a Cert III in Individual Support (Disability)  or IV in Disability is certainly valued - but not a prerequisite. 

The great thing about the disability carer pathway is that it provides many opportunities for further training and development. At Focus Care, we recognise that there is a lot to learn, which is why we provide ongoing training opportunities. 

How do you know if it’s the right job for you?

Do you have the qualities of a good disability support worker? 

If you’re patient, understanding, positive and reliable, you may be a good match. 

Being able to help others live more independently takes someone with high emotional intelligence. While some days may involve more practical care support, other days may involve supporting a participant through difficult decision making processes. 

So, a kind and perceptive approach is key. 

(Read more on the traits we look for our in our team)

If you’re naturally skilled in:

  • Communicating clearly and sensitively    

  • Listening   

  • Problem-solving  

  • Managing time     

  • Adapting

Then working in disability care might just be your calling. 

Apply Today for a rewarding career at Focus Care

If you’re interested in making a difference, make the call and reach out to our team. 

Those in disability and community care certainly have their hard days (we know that those doing the care also need to feel cared for). But for all the challenging times, there are also major personal rewards. 

Research from The United Nations World Happiness Report strongly argues that giving to others simply feels good

As Serena emphasises “I love it…you discover things about yourself you didn’t know”

If you are interested in a career working with us, please check out our careers page to apply for our open positions.

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How it works

  • 1

    We’ll visit your home to get to know you, your goals and your specific needs

  • 2

    We'll work with you to design your services

  • 3

    You'll be matched with a support worker, and your journey will begin