Direct Support Workers
Direct Support Workers facilitate the development and enhancement of independent living and other skills to enable their clients to maintain their independence and/or realise their goals. They provide this support in a wide range of services and settings, from a client’s home or hostel, to a group home, community day program, respite centre and more.
A Direct Support Worker may also be known as a Community House Worker, Community Support Worker, Care Support Worker, Residential Support Worker, Home Care Worker and Respite Worker.
Support Workers need the following skills and knowledge:
- Strong communication skills
- Integrity, ethics and a non-judgemental approach
- Commitment to support and encourage people as they explore new opportunities
- Empathy, discretion, self confidence and resilience
- A holistic view of people and respect for boundaries
- Flexibility, adaptability and a willingness to try new things
- Ability to build rapport with a diverse range of people
- Ability to build relationships and trust
- Creative approach to problem solving
- Ability to work as part of a team
- Ability to work in a changing and challenging environment
- A driver's licence is desirable
- A First Aid Certificate is desirable
- Entry qualifications are not mandatory and training is available, however some organisations prefer staff to enter with, or enrol in training for a Certificate III or IV in Disability during their first year of employment
Meet a Direct Support Worker
Hayley and Matthew tell us about their day to day working lives and what it takes to do their job.
Hayley Saines: Senior Trainer/Support Worker
What does your role involve?
I work for Lambing Flat Enterprises, a rural accommodation training and support service in Young (NSW) and my role involves working ethically with people who have challenged abilities.
I train and support them in developing their living skills and community access so that they can live as independently as possible within the community.
My qualifications include a Certificate IV in Disabilities and a First Aid Certificate. Some of the many skills I need in my role are good communication skills, report writing, team work, proficiency in IT, a high level of self motivation and ethics, a commitment to social sustainability and a good driving record.
People working in these kind of roles also need patience and understanding, a sense of humour, self awareness and the ability to be non-judgmental and compassionate.
Matthew Old: Leaving Care Program Mentor
What do you do day to day in your role?
I work for Northcott Disability Services and my role involves connecting with young people and believing in them and
A good sense of humour, a thick skin and an ability to put your own values and ideals aside.