Listening to Learn!! I’ve been in the care sector for a decade now. Like many, I came into it by chance. I’d finished high school and had tried careers in both hospitality and retail, but hadn’t found the right fit for me. I then saw a traineeship advertised with the House With No Steps, which interested me. I loved the idea that every day would be different and that I’d have the chance to build some great relationships with people. I applied and was successful. I started off as a Support Worker and am now a Personal Outcomes Measures Interviewer.
Study has been an important part of my career. I’ve done a Certificate III in Community Services, a Certificate IV in Disability, Training and Assessment, and a Diploma in Community Service. All of the courses have been relevant to my job, but what I especially liked about them was that I could continue working while studying and the training focused on what I was actually doing at work. In line with my current role, I am a trained Personal Outcomes Measures (POMS) Interviewer. POMS is a collection of 21 different questions and areas of life developed by the Council of Quality Leadership [http://www.thecouncil.org/index.aspx]. They were developed to find out what people with disabilities want or need in their life.
My role means that I get to spend a lot of time with people, chatting to them and interviewing them using the POMS strategy. It is incredibly rewarding because I get to meet a range of extraordinary people and hear their amazing stories. It’s also very positive because from the person’s answers, we then work with them to bolster the areas of their life that need it and to help ensure that they continue doing the things they love. The key is listening to the people the House With No Steps supports and then acting on what has been said. When you truly listen to someone, you have to follow their lead. You can’t have any preconceived ideas – you must be present in that moment. You also need to listen beyond the words they’re saying; you need to watch their behaviour, their body language, their interactions with others and listen out for what they’re not saying. I feel like I’m privileged to be able to do this and that the House With No Steps clients are willing to let me into their lives.
Every person that I’ve supported over the last decade has shaped me in one way or another. Since I entered the industry quite young, a lot of my values have been contributed to by the people I supported. But more than anything, they’ve taught me to accept my own unique self and never to be afraid to express your own individuality.
If you’re leaving school, why not consider a career in the care sector like Casey. School leavers can find out more here.
Personal Outcomes Measures Interviewer
House With No Steps