Australia is home to hundreds of thousands of support workers. They differ greatly in terms of location, age, qualifications, and even job titles. So how do you find someone who is 1. in your local area and 2. the perfect match for your needs?
Read on to learn about the different types of support workers, and how to find one near you.
Figure out what type of support worker you need
Before you start looking for a support worker near you, figure out what type of person you need. Do you need someone who specialises in aged care? Someone who can help with community access? Or someone who can do a bit of everything?
Here are some common support worker terms to help you choose the right person for your needs. Just note: there may be some overlap in roles and responsibilities!
- Disability v aged care worker. Some support workers help people of all ages and abilities, while others focus on aged care or disability only. Their actual roles and responsibilities will differ from person to person.
- Independent support worker. Some support workers choose to work as independent contractors. This means they have an ABN, manage their own tax, and have to source their own work (often via platforms like Like Family).
- Social support worker. These support workers specialise in social and community support, like attending social events, playing sport, preparing meals, and transportation. They can't assist with things like personal and medical care.
- Personal care worker/assistant. A professional who helps people with disability or the elderly with day-to-day tasks like dressing, bathing, and taking medication.
- Mental health support worker. A special type of support worker who assists people with mental illness. They often have experience and/or qualifications in this area, and help people connect with other mental health services.
- Unpaid carer. Someone who provides temporary or permanent unpaid support. They are often a partner, sibling, parent, friend or neighbour.
Now that you know a little bit about the types of support workers, here are a few ways to find one near you.
Search for disability and aged care providers online
There are heaps of websites that can help you find a disability or aged care provider in your local area. These companies can help you connect with their workforce of vetted support workers. Choosing a provider (rather than an individual support worker) can be handy if you'd like to hire multiple workers, and may also make it easier to manage payments and invoicing.
You can look for information about local providers via Google Search or Google Maps, or using one of the following websites:
- NDIS Provider Finder - search for NDIS registered providers based on suburb, registration group, status and more.
- My Aged Care - search for aged care providers based on suburb, care type, specialised care and more.
- MyCareSpace - tell MyCareSpace about what supports you need, and they'll connect you with local NDIS providers.
- Clickability - a site that helps you find, compare and connect with NDIS providers based on your needs.
Talk to your local area coordinator, support coordinator or plan manager
There are lots of people involved in the disability and aged care sectors who can connect you with supports in your community. You'll find people like LACs are incredibly knowledgeable about local NDIS providers and community groups. Just let them know what type of supports you're looking for, and they'll be happy to point you in the right direction.
Ask for referrals from your doctor, health professionals, or people in your local community
Your GP, occupational therapist or even physio may know of support workers in your local area. Similarly, your friends and family members may have hired a support worker in the past (or know someone who has). Make sure to ask for a recommendation the next time you see them!
Try a support worker Facebook group
There are numerous Facebook and online community groups helping people connect with support workers in their local area. Some groups are national, while others are specific to a certain city or region. Here are some examples:
- NDIS Independent Supports and Participants Connecting
- Community and Support Workers Australia
- NDIS Participants Finder Provider
- NDIS Sydney Provider Participant Match up
You can explore these groups for support workers who match your location, or make a post that asks people to reach out to you. If you choose the latter option, make sure to include your suburb, what type of support you are after, and when you need it.
Find a support worker near you with Like Family
If you want to find a support worker who is reliable, trustworthy and in your area, you've come to the right place. Like Family is an NDIS registered provider with over 3,000 active and NDIS-approved support workers across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
We specialise in social and community support, which covers activities like exercise, meal preparation, transportation and a buddy for social events. Our 1:1 hourly rates are 16% below the NDIS price guide for social support, so you can get more support hours out of your budget.
Head to our website today and start searching for support workers near you.