Tracy, who is based in Blue Mountains NSW, left her full-time job with a provider to sign up to Better Caring. This is her story.
“I’d wanted to be a self-employed independent support worker for a long time but didn’t know how to do it.
I worked with a provider for many years before I came onto the Better Caring platform. There were things I wanted to do with the people I supported, but felt like I was restricted by the organisation’s rules. The service provider was in charge, not the client.
When I became an independent support worker through Better Caring, the people I supported decided to come with me.
Now, the balance of power has shifted; I’m directed and guided by the person I support, negotiation is between me and them. I get to provide true person-centred support.
Better Caring is a way to do what I always wanted to. It runs so easily. I feel supported by the people at Better Caring and they’re aligned with my philosophy.
Most people I support live independently and are NDIS-managed, so Better Caring is great for them. Much of my work is social support. No two days are the same, and everything we do is centred around the interests of the person. The more I get to know them, the more I can offer suggestions.
We like finding groups and activities in the local community. One of the people I support signed up for a computer mentoring class. Another wanted to go square dancing so we found a local group. I’ve accompanied the people I support to movies, the theatre, yoga classes, on bushwalking and even weekends away.
I support other people to live independently, helping with day-to-day life tasks, cooking, cleaning, shopping, helping with banking and paying bills, taking them to medical appointments, talking to services.
The biggest change is that we’re not restricted to business hours. If someone I support wants to go see a band and I’m free on a Friday night, I can do that with them. They get to live their lives independently, out and about over the weekend.
I am so happy and fulfilled as an independent support worker.
We have more flexibility and we don’t have to ask permission. Working through Better Caring brings a real humanness to these relationships. We’re just two human beings spending time together.”