Most people have heard of support workers before, but what about social support workers? Basically, they're support workers who specialise in providing social and community support. They help people in need to increase their independence, engage with their community, learn new skills, and enjoy life to the fullest. It's a pretty important job!
Like Family is a platform that helps people who are elderly, ill or living with disability connect with social support workers in their community. We have a pretty comprehensive vetting process to ensure we only approve applicants who are reliable, trustworthy and genuinely care about the work they do.
So if you're thinking about hiring a social support worker, or want to become one yourself, here's a quick guide outlining what they do.
They can accompany you to social events
If making new friends and participating in the community are some of your NDIS goals, a social support worker may be just what you need. They can accompany you to a variety of social events and ensure you feel safe, engaged and happy. This may be useful if you need a hand meeting new people or paying for things like movie tickets.
Many venues and events accept Companion Cards so your social support worker can tag along for free.
You may hire a social support worker to take you to:
- a music or comedy festival
- the cinema
- ten pin bowling
- the markets
- museums and art galleries
You can find more ideas for accessible activities by visiting our Events page.
They can help improve your health and wellbeing
Sometimes we need a little help to reach our health and wellbeing goals. A social support worker can be there to cheer you on, teach you new skills and also join in on the fun.
From walks around the neighbourhood, to kicking a ball around, or relaxing with a yoga session, there are plenty of ways to get active! If you're particularly interested in health and wellbeing activities, search for social support workers with similar interests and skills.
They can teach you new skills
Social support workers come from many walks of life. Some are musicians, actors, software developers, chefs and athletes. They often become support workers so they can share their passions with others!
So if you're looking to learn how to use a computer, play the piano or knit a scarf, a social support worker can help you out. Just search for someone who shares similar interests, and see if they'd be interested in teaching you!
They can give you a hand with cooking and meal preparation
Speaking of new skills — what about learning how to cook? A social support worker can help you try out new recipes and prepare meals for the week ahead. They can even assist you with the grocery shopping part!
This is a great option if you want to go beyond basic dishes and try different cuisines, ingredients and cooking techniques. Meal preparation is also a fantastic way to save money and time.
They can get you from A to B
Need to get to work? Or a doctor's appointment?
Many social support workers can help you get to where you want to go via car or public transport. This may come in handy if you don't own a car, or require transportation as part of a booking.
Social support workers who assist with car transport will have their driver's licence and a registered and insured vehicle, so you can know you can trust them!
Your NDIS funding may cover the costs of transport — check with your plan manager or support coordinator if you're unsure.
They can challenge you to a game of chess, Scrabble or Mario Kart!
If you have a new video or board game that you've been dying to try, why not play it with a social support worker? You can work together to figure out the rules and have some fun along the way.
You may want to try a classic game, like chess or Scrabble, or something completely new, like It Takes Two.
This activity is particularly good to do on rainy days, and with other Like Family Members!
They can give you a hand with household tasks
Some daily tasks may be difficult to do if you're elderly, injured or have a condition like arthritis. Fortunately, a social support worker can help lighten the load!
They can help you do household tasks like load the dishwasher, do a grocery run, mop the floors, weed the garden, and much more. They may also join you for a tea and a chat afterwards!
Not every social support worker will help with domestic assistance, so make sure to ask before you start working with someone.
Is there anything a social support worker can't do?
While there are many things a social support worker can do, there are a few services they can't help with. These include:
- Personal care, like showering, dressing and toileting
- Medical care, like administering medication and treating wounds
- Professional services, like providing legal services or doing home renovations
If you're unsure if a social support worker can assist with your needs, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find a social support worker with Like Family
We're an NDIS registered provider that specialises in social and community support. In fact, we even call our support workers, "Social Carers"! We provide support in many parts of NSW, Queensland and Victoria, as well as online.
If you're looking for social support for yourself or a loved one, hop over to our website to get started. You can search for Social Carers based on age, location, support experience, language and more. Once you've found a good candidate, you have the opportunity to set up a free Meet and Greet to see if you could be a good fit for each other.
If you want to join Like Family as a Social Carer, you can apply here. You don't need any qualifications to get started, just a passion for helping others!