As an independent support worker, you can support your clients to achieve the goals in their NDIS plan or care plan. By getting to know your client and through building a strong relationship, you will achieve more successful outcomes together. Here are some tools to help you get started.
If your client has NDIS funding, they will have a plan with a set of goals which have been mutually agreed upon during their planning meeting with the NDIA. Goals are reviewed by the NDIA, usually every 12 months, to see how outcomes are tracking. For clients who are ageing, anyone with a Home Care Package will have a care plan they’ve developed with the provider who hosts their funding. This includes both goals and care needs and is also reviewed every 12 months.
Tracking your progress together
Before you get started, ask your client what goals you are being hired to support them with, and establish the desired outcomes. It’s a good idea to review these goals periodically with your client and document what you talk about in your shift notes.
This gives you both the opportunity to reflect on how goals are tracking, to do more of what’s working well and to change approaches where things are not. It also means that at the end of your client’s plan, they have all the information they need for their plan review.
Getting started with a person-centred approach
Person-centred practice is about putting the person at the centre of everything we do. Why not kick off with a quick exercise to help you get to know your client? It’s really simple and all your client needs to do is answer three questions:
- What do others like and admire about me?
You might need input from others here, too. For example, you can ask your client’s friend or family member to provide some input.
- What is important to me?
This is about finding out what makes your client who they are. Ask about their most important people, places, things, routines, interests and anything else that matters. You should also talk about what is important for your client, including their health and safety, or any specific care plans.
- How to best support me.
What kind of support is really helpful and enjoyable? What does your client want and need?
The Presence to Contribution tool
This tool, in six stages, supports clients to consider how they can use their interests and strengths to meet people and get involved in the community:
- Activity – what is the client interested in trying out? For clients with a disability, this is likely to be linked to a goal in the NDIS plan.
- Being present – how can the client attend? Find out about venues and times, for example.
- Having presence – what would it look like if the client was more connected? For example, chatting to other people involved in the community.
- Actively participating – how can they take part in the class or activity instead of observing.
- Connecting – what actions you and your client can take to get more connected, for example, arriving earlier to chat to others.
- Contributing – for example, presenting in the class or helping set up or pack up.
Things to remember:
- You can work on these tools over time as you get to know each other.
- Talk to your client, their family and others involved in the client’s support.
- If you’re working in a team, you can find out which strategies work and which don’t. This may depend on how the client relates to you or other support workers in their team.
- Supporting your client in their goals doesn’t replace other relevant plans, policies and procedures e.g. WHS inspections, risk assessments or care plans implemented by a health professional.
- Keep your client at the centre of any planning!
If you’d like to find out more about how to provide active support, these Activate Learning modules are free and come highly recommended by our Community Engagement team.
By connecting through Better Caring, clients and workers can take the time to work together on what’s most important to the client. If you’d like to make a difference and help someone live their best life, sign up now.