Are you on the look out for a new disability support worker? Whether you're an NDIS participant or the friend or relative of one, it's important to find someone who has qualities that make them an effective and compassionate caretaker.

A good disability support worker will possess several admirable qualities including: empathy; knowledge of disabilities; emotional intelligence; strong communication skills; reliability; patience and understanding of different needs. Above all, they should be passionate about providing the best possible care for their clients.

At Like Family, we understand the importance of choosing the best person for your unique needs. To help you get started, here's a list of the main qualities of a good disability support worker you should look for.

Knowledge of relevant legislation, policies and procedures

As a disability support worker, it is important to have up-to-date knowledge of relevant state and national legislation, policies and procedures. This knowledge is essential for providing quality disability support. It also helps to ensure that the support provided is tailored to the individual needs of the person with a disability. This can include understanding the individual's rights, the support they require, and the best way to provide it.

Disability support workers will often be required to complete the NDIS Commission’s eLearning modules so they can better understand their obligations and how they can better support NDIS participants to achieve their goals.

A professional outlook

Having a professional attitude is an essential quality for any worker, but particular disability support workers. A professional attitude includes being respectful and reliable, as well as displaying a commitment to providing quality support.

A disability support worker should always be respectful when interacting with clients and colleagues. This means being polite, open to different opinions and approaches, and being willing to listen and learn.

Reliability is also an important quality for a disability support worker. This means showing up on time, following through on commitments, and being consistent in providing quality support. It also means being honest and trustworthy, and being willing to take responsibility for any mistakes that may be made.

Finally, a disability support worker should display a commitment to providing quality support. This means having a positive attitude, being organised and prepared, and taking the time to listen to the client to understand their needs. It also means being knowledgeable about the services that are available and being willing to go the extra mile to ensure the client’s needs are met.

Communication skills

A support worker talking on the phone
Photo by kevin laminto / Unsplash

When looking for a disability support worker, it is essential to choose one who is able to communicate effectively with a range of stakeholders, including service users, carers and other professionals. Communication is key to providing a high standard of care and support to those with a disability.

Good communication skills are also necessary in order to ensure that the service user’s care plan is being followed correctly. A disability support worker should be able to communicate any changes or concerns to the service user and their family, as well as other professionals, in a clear and concise manner.

Empathy and understanding

At its core, disability support is about helping people with disability to live their lives to the fullest. This means having the ability to empathise with their individual circumstances and understand their unique needs. A disability support worker must be able to recognize and appreciate the feelings and experiences of their clients and be able to communicate with them in a way that is both respectful and understanding.

Having empathy and understanding also allows disability support workers to create a supportive and welcoming environment for their clients. This can be especially important for those who may have autism or a mental illness and feel isolated or overwhelmed by other people or their environment.

Patience and resilience

As a disability support worker, it is essential to have the patience and resilience to work with people with a range of needs and abilities. This can be a challenging but incredibly rewarding experience.

It is important to remember that each person with a disability is unique and has their own individual needs and abilities. Some may achieve their goals quicker or more easily than others. So disability support workers should be open-minded, flexible and willing to adjust their approach to best meet their client's needs.

Adaptability and flexibility

When it comes to disability support work, adaptability and flexibility are vital qualities to have. A disability support worker must be able to quickly identify the changing needs of their service users and adjust accordingly in order to provide the best possible care. This requires a deep understanding of each individual’s unique situation and an ability to think on one's feet in order to make decisions in real-time.

A good disability support worker will not only understand an individual’s specific needs but also be able to anticipate them as much as possible. This means being able to assess situations calmly, develop strategies quickly and take decisive action when needed without compromising safety or quality of care.

Problem-solving skills

Two people talking in a cafe
Photo by Mimi Thian / Unsplash

Having good problem-solving skills is an outstanding quality of a good disability support worker. Being able to respond quickly and effectively to unexpected situations can be the difference between a successful outcome and a difficult one.

Good problem-solving skills allow a disability support worker to assess the situation, identify the issues, and come up with creative solutions. They can also help the support worker stay calm and collected in difficult situations and make sure that the person they are supporting is safe and secure.

Teamwork skills

Working as part of a team allows disability support workers to bring their unique skills and knowledge to the table, allowing for a more comprehensive approach to providing support to people with disability. A team of support workers and other professionals can provide a variety of perspectives, resources, and skills that can be used to help people with disability reach their goals.

Additionally, working as part of a team allows disability support workers to build strong relationships with other professionals and support workers. This can allow disability support workers to share their expertise and knowledge, which can help to improve the quality of care and support provided to people with disability.

Like Family’s trusted support workers

At Like Family, we understand how vital it is for people with disability to feel supported and connect with their support worker. That's why we're dedicated to matching you with a support worker with qualities that best match your needs.

Our NDIS-approved Social Carers (support workers) can help you or a loved one with a range of social support activities like grocery shopping, attending events, exercising, arts & craft, and much more. We provide social support in many parts of NSW, Queensland and Victoria.

View our NDIS Disability Support Services today!

Interested in becoming a disability support worker? Get a job as a support worker with Like Family here!