Community support workers are different from personal carers and social workers. They focus on helping people increase their independence and build social skills so they can live their life to the fullest. There are many ways this can be achieved, but the main focus is on social connection and community participation, rather than medical or personal care.
If you or somebody you know are looking for someone to help with daily tasks, or need a buddy for extra support getting out and about, then a community support worker may be a great fit!
You can even use your NDIS funding or home care package to hire one. If you have an NDIS plan, help with community access will typically fall under the Core Support and Capacity Building Support categories of your budget (though talk to your plan manager or support coordinator if you're unsure!).
Here are some different ways community support workers can support you or a loved one.
1. Facilitate social activities for individuals or groups within the community
Connecting with your community and others around you is essential for everyone. However, sometimes it may be difficult to get out and about, especially if you're living with a physical, intellectual or psychosocial disability.
Fear not, because a community support worker can help you work on your social skills and accompany you to community activities to meet like-minded people. You may choose to do activities together, like grocery shopping, or your support worker may host group activities such as ten pin bowling to foster friendships.
It's all about becoming confident when speaking to others by developing and maintaining relationships with individuals, families and carers. Community support workers are your best buddies when out and about.
2. Practical support for independent living
Independent living is about being able to complete day-to-day household tasks. Community support workers can improve independent living by helping build resilience, gain confidence and assist with daily tasks that may be difficult for some, like cleaning if there are limitations to mobility due to arthritis.
The best thing about community support workers is the wide range of services they can provide to assist you in becoming independent in daily life. These can include weekly grocery shops, cleaning, transportation or even meal preparation. You choose what you do together!
We know everyone is unique, so it is important to communicate with your community support worker about what your needs and goals are. This way, they can ensure you are sufficiently supported and on track.
3. Be your personal cheerleader and provide emotional support
Sometimes all it takes is someone cheering you on, or reaffirming words. A community support worker is more than just someone who accompanies you to places or helps around the house. They're also there to boost your confidence and celebrate your achievements.
A good community support worker understands your goals and facilitates an environment that is encouraging and ensures you are emotionally supported along the way. For example, if your goal is to improve fitness, your community support worker will celebrate the wins and progress with you, and push you to achieve your best with encouraging words.
4. Link you to services and resources in your community
Your community support worker acts as an encyclopaedia of knowledge for services and resources in your local community. If you would like to connect with a group of people similar to you, or want to try a new hobby, feel free to chat to your community support worker.
Not only will they be able to connect you with the relevant services, they can also be your buddy if you need extra assistance attending. They really are a one-stop-shop!
5. Teach you new skills
There is great diversity in the skills and abilities community support workers have. Some are musicians, athletes, nurses, accountants...you name it! If you're looking to pick up new skills or dabble into different hobbies, the right community support worker can teach you something new.
For example, if you're looking to pick up a new sport like tennis, you can have tournaments with your support worker, who can also help improve your skills. Not only will this help boost your confidence, you now have someone to share your achievements with!
Community support workers can't help with...
While community support workers can help you with a large range of things, there are some tasks they can't help with.
Things such as personal care (e.g. showering), medical care and other professional services like legal advice or house maintenance fall outside of what community support workers are qualified and allowed to do.
Connect with a community support worker with Like Family
Community support workers are all about helping you build social skills and independence. At Like Family, we call our support workers "Social Carers" because they specialise in providing social and community support.
If you are currently looking for the perfect Social Carer, Like Family is the place to be! Our Social Carers all have NDIS Worker Checks and go through group inductions and specialised training to ensure you receive the best care possible.
Sign up or contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org and our lovely Customer Care team will help assist you in finding the right fit.