How to Become a Disability Support Worker
Everything you need to know about becoming a disability support worker,
including skills, education and the industry itself.
What Does a Disability Support Worker Do?
A disability support worker provides physical assistance, emotional support and personal care for people with intellectual or physical disabilities. Their usual tasks consist of assisting in domestic duties and chores such as shopping and cooking, helping with social activities and outings, as well as providing support to clients to develop their existing skills, abilities and confidence.
The role itself may vary depending on the client’s needs, but the essential aspect of a disability support worker is to alleviate physical discomfort, promote emotional wellbeing and general health.
Disability support workers work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, specialised care settings and in client’s homes. Becoming a disability support worker can be a challenging yet highly rewarding career as you can make a real positive difference in the lives of those people living with a disability. In this article, we will explain how to become a disability support workers with the critical intrapersonal skills and educational requirements needed to do so.
Skills for Sucess
Before diving into study or training to become a disability support worker, it is an excellent idea to understand which intrapersonal skills are you’ll need. Working as a disability support worker can sometimes be emotionally challenging; therefore, there are many qualities employers look for in their candidates. These skills include but are not limited to:
Including being patient, understanding, and empathetic.
Although these skills are not requirements for the job, they offer a benchmark in what to expect from employers in the industry. Communication skills are vital to the role, as it can influence and impact how clients interact in a social environment. They are also used to clearly and concisely guide them in certain social situations. Also, emotional intelligence and resilience are vital attributes which reflect the nature of disability support workers in solving conflict and dealing with complex mental disability issues such as ADHD and autism.
In some cases, it is possible to work as a Disability Support Worker without formal qualifications; however, many employers require a vocational qualification such as a Certificate III in Individual Support (CHC33015) or a Certificate IV in Disability (CHC43115). A Bachelor of Social Work is also another education suitable to work as a disability support worker. Other job opportunities in this field include a variety of roles such as home care worker, social worker, attendant care worker and many more.
Before starting work as a disability support worker, you will also need to have completed a satisfactory police check, obtain a Working with Children’s Check, First Aid Certificate and most likely possess an Australian Drivers Licence. Furthermore, new job applicants in this field should be aware of the National Standards for Disability Services and the rights, needs and requirements of people with a disability from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Both free and paid disability courses have their benefits and drawbacks. The most important thing is to understand how they differ, and how that relates to your future.
According to the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, in Australia, there are strong employment prospects for those wishing to start a career in disability support work. The number of people working as Aged and Disabled Carers has grown enormously over the past five years. The workforce is expected to expand from 175,800 in 2018 to 245,000 by 2023. There are likely to be approximately 35,000 job openings each year, with more opportunities to work part-time than full time. 33% of workers in this industry work full time, and on average, 66% work part-time. In Australia, the majority of disability support workers or aged care workers are present in NSW, VIC, QLD, SA and WA, respectively.
Working as a disability support worker can be a challenging yet highly enriching career. The ability to work with diverse people to improve their quality of life can be a very gratifying feeling for disability support workers.
There are few barriers to entry in this industry, as vocational training can be undertaken once starting working in this profession. Still, it is ideal for candidates to possess some knowledge about practices and behaviours relevant to their clients.
There a range of flexible online courses and study options available for prospective Disability Support Workers and most courses can be done on a part-time or full-time basis.
Working as part of a team to support people with physical and mental health disabilities is perfect for those who are passionate about helping others, especially in their community.
Everything you need to know about teaching kids with special needs.
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