Support Worker

(Including Relief Support Worker)

This is a very individualised form of support work and it is vital that there is a good match between service users and their support worker to allow a positive working relationship to grow. Our experience with all staff providing 1:1 support work is that the successful support worker/user relationship is mutually beneficial and enjoyable. A person's beliefs, values and attitudes play an important part in our consideration and decision to recruit someone.

The following values and beliefs are essential -
  • Belief in the rights of people with learning difficulties and the principles of inclusion.
  • A person-centred working practice.
  • Seeing a person's gifts and possible ways they may make a contribution.

The following skills and qualities are essential -
  • A willingness and capacity to self manage. Support workers work with a great deal of autonomy and must be well organised and able to manage a daily schedule. They must be able to make informed decisions about the best use of a person's time and support the person to make choices. They must be able to make decisions about a person's well-being and take action which is in the person's best interests.
  • Demonstrate respect and a dignified approach to the person at all times.
  • In carrying out these roles a facilitator must make judgments that are in line with the organisation's values and overall service mission and philosophy. They therefore must share the organisation's mission and beliefs. They should learn from their experiences.
  • Motivation is important. The worker must be prepared to work at building their relationship with a service user, have a mature and level-headed outlook and a realistic understanding of what making progress and achievements will look like.
  • Good communication skills and the ability to relate well to others including community members is essential. The ability 'to read' people and situations is necessary.
  • As the role involves supporting people in the community throughout the day, any worker must have the physical stamina, fitness and willingness to be 'out and about' and 'on the go' over a 6/7 hour day.

Other desirable criteria -
  • Experience of providing personal care may be helpful. However, this is a skill that the person who possesses the other qualities we are looking for can learn so is not essential.
  • Some posts require drivers with use of a car, others require drivers w ho will drive the person's own vehicle and other posts require non-drivers as public transport is used.