How to become a Disability Support Worker

Disability support workers provide care, supervision and support for people with disabilities in the home, residential establishments, clinics and hospitals. They also work with other health professionals to maximise the individual's physical and mental wellbeing. They also provide companionship and emotional support, and when possible, promote independence and community participation.

Personal requirements of a Disability Support Worker

  • Patient, flexible and understanding
  • Supportive and caring nature
  • Commitment to the rights of people with disabilities to live dignified lives
  • Able to accept responsibility
  • Good communication skills
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Able to perform domestic duties efficiently

Education & Training for a Disability Support Worker

You can work as a disability support worker without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications or experience working with people who require care. You may like to consider a VET qualification in ageing support, individual support or mental health. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a disability support worker through a traineeship in Individual Support or Mental Health. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Disability Support Worker

Disability support workers may perform the following tasks:

  • assist people with self-medication
  • implement care programs for those in residential establishments
  • provide in-home support with health issues and daily living tasks such as washing, dressing, eating, transport and budgeting
  • assist with the delivery of activities to enhance the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of those in their care
  • ensure that those in their care are washed, dressed, fed and ready for educational and recreational activities
  • assist those in their care during domestic activities such as eating meals and showering
  • provide companionship and support during daily activities
  • cook and serve meals, clean premises, wash, iron and perform other household tasks
  • organise refuge accommodation
  • work with a team of health professionals, family, friends and carers to implement a program of support.

Working conditions for a Disability Support Worker

Disability support workers work in private homes and community establishments. They may be required to work evenings, weekends and public holidays and may be required to live on the premises. Some positions may be casual.

Employment Opportunities for a Disability Support Worker

Disability support workers are employed by community health centres, local government authorities, private hospitals, private residences and multidisciplinary health centres in rural areas.

Specialisations:


Attendant Care Worker

An attendant care worker concentrates on providing personal care assistance to people with disability in the home or workplace. These duties may include bathing, lifting, moving, dressing, grooming, exercising or feeding people with disability.


Home Care Worker

A home care worker provides in-home assistance and care for people unable to care for themselves and/or their families because of sickness, disability or old age.

Additional Information
To work with children, you must obtain a Working with Children Check, National Police Certificate and Provide First Aid Certificate. A drivers licence and form of transport is essential for those providing community and home support care.
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