Finding an NDIS support worker is easy enough—but how do you find the right one? Someone who celebrates your wins, teaches you new things, turns up on time, and always has your back?
At Like Family, we've been helping Aussies in need connect with local support workers for over 7 years. So we know a thing or two about how to find the perfect someone!
In this article, we'll explain the different types of NDIS support workers, where to find one, and how to figure out if they're the right match for you.
But first — what is the "right" NDIS support worker?
What makes the perfect support worker will differ from person to person. Some people prefer workers who are the same age and gender, while others want someone with a similar personality. Here are some factors that can determine whether an NDIS support worker will be a good fit.
It sounds obvious, but you want a support worker who lives in your local area. They'll know all the good local spots, and it won't take them hours to get to your house!
If you want to get out and about in the community, find someone who is interested in the same activities. You want to go to an NRL match with a diehard fan, not just anybody!
Some people like support workers who are at a similar stage of life — maybe you're both starting uni, or getting close to retirement. They may understand you better than someone 20 years your senior.
Type of support provided
As you may know, the NDIS covers many types of support. So it shouldn't come as much surprise that NDIS support workers vary in terms of what they can assist with. Here are some examples:
- Social and community support. This is about helping you participate in the community and build relationships. It can include anything from doing arts & craft, playing sport, to attending social events. If you're interested in this type of support, look for support workers who are outgoing, easy to chat with, and share similar interests.
- Transportation. If you need assistance getting to appointments or special events, look for support workers who have their own car and a valid driver's licence.
- Personal care. This can cover daily tasks like showering, toileting and dressing. Not all support workers can or want to assist with personal care, so make sure to ask ahead of time.
- Household support. If you need a hand with regular cleaning tasks, like mopping and doing the laundry, find an NDIS support worker who is happy to help with (and good at!) domestic assistance.
- Mental health support. Support workers provide emotional support by communicating with NDIS participants with compassion and empathy. Some are qualified to provide additional mental health support, like counselling and connecting people with appropriate mental health services.
Now that you have a better idea of what makes the "right" NDIS support worker, let's explore a few ways that you can find, connect and hire one.
Seek referrals from disability organisations, friends and family
People like local area coordinators and support coordinators all exist to help you make the most out of the NDIS. They are incredibly knowledgeable about local NDIS services, and can connect you with providers or individual support workers who match your needs and interests.
You can also talk to your GP, physio, friends and family for recommendations. Chances are they've hired a support worker before, or know of someone who has.
Look for local NDIS support workers online
There are tonnes of NDIS providers and independent support workers advertising their services online. Here's how can quickly find an NDIS support worker who matches your needs:
- Do a Google search. Use good ol' Google to start your search. You may want to use specific keywords like "social support worker in Hurstville" to find the right person sooner.
- Use an NDIS provider finder. The NDIS and sites like Clickability let you quickly search for NDIS providers based on criteria like support type and location.
- Search for support workers using an NDIS platform. Platforms like Like Family will allow you to search for support workers based on location, age, experience and more.
- Join NDIS Facebook groups. Some people promote their services via one of many NDIS and disability community groups. You can reach out to these people directly, or make your own job post outlining your requirements.
Go to your local disability expo
If meeting people in person is more of your forte, head to one of the many disability expos in your state or territory. You can talk to a variety of NDIS providers, meet support workers, and maybe even pick up some free stationery.
Make sure to ask lots of questions about a provider's support services, the diversity and availability of their support workers, their pricing, and what safeguards they have in place if things go wrong.
Found a potential NDIS support worker? Set up a Meet and Greet
Some NDIS providers, like Like Family, offer the opportunity to organise a free Meet and Greet. This is a great way to get to know an NDIS support worker before arranging ongoing support. It can take place in person, over the phone or via a video call.
You should ask a series of questions to ensure they're a good fit, like:
- When are you available?
- What are your interests and hobbies?
- Do you speak my native language fluently?
- Do you have experience working with people with certain disabilities?
- I have a goal to make more friends. How could you help me achieve this goal?
You can arrange up to 5 free Meet and Greets with Like Family to give you time to find the right person for your needs.
Find the right NDIS support worker with Like Family
Like Family has over 3,000 active NDIS support workers on our platform, and we're adding more every day. They can help you or a loved one with a range of social and community participation activities, including exercise, transportation, meal preparation and a buddy for social events.
We're committed to helping you connect with the right support worker, not any support worker. You can filter for Carers on our website by age, location, support experience and interests. Alternatively, reach out to our friendly Customer Care team at email@example.com and they'll gladly help you find someone based on your needs and interests.
Head to our website to get started!