I was lucky to find the perfect job for me on the carecareers website just a few months ago. I had just come back from an overseas trip and wanted to find some casual work, as I finished my Higher School Certificate last year and am having a break until I start uni next year.
For the past 5 years I have had some experience with the cousin of a good friend of mine, who has Cerebral Palsy. I have often been on outings with my friend and his cousin and I would help them out when I could. Through that, and other conversations I have had with my parents, I started thinking about what it would be like to work with people with disabilities.
As I needed to find some work, and also because I wanted to see what it would really be like to work in the disability sector, I decided to find a job to experience it first-hand. My family had heard about carecareers so I visited the website and did a search for casual jobs.
A casual Care Worker role with The Spastic Centre (TSC) appeared and then it all happened so easily and quickly. I applied for the job online and the next day TSC called me. Before I knew it I was in an interview.
During the recruitment process TSC were very honest and open with me about the role and I was happy with all of the duties I would be doing. I got the job and have been doing casual shifts for the past 5 weeks.
I work for 5-6 hours at a time and my main role is to assist people with disabilities who live in group homes or attend respite services and day programs. I generally cover staff who are sick or when extra help is needed, and that’s a few times a week. I also have another job as a builder’s labourer 3 days a week.
During my shifts I do all sorts of things to help the clients, who have intellectual and or physical disabilities. I prepare basic meals, help them get showered and dressed, have dinner or watch TV with them – I really am just there for when they need help or want to do something.
I sometimes work on the weekends too in a program which assists younger people who have disabilities. During those shifts we usually go out with the clients or I help them with their homework. I only just finished school so I know what that’s like!
During my first few shifts I just watched what the other carers did and helped where I could. TSC have a buddy system so I was always with another staff member during my initial shifts. Everyone I work with is very nice and caring. I also did training with TSC when I started and there were a few other young people doing that too.
I like my job with TSC as I feel like I am getting something back. It is so satisfying to work with the clients. Some of my friends have office jobs that they hate so I’m happy that I’m in this job – I wouldn’t want to wake up every day and go to a job I didn’t like. It’s something I will look into for the future and I’m glad to be having the experience now.
Cerebral Palsy Alliance (previously known as The Spastic Centre)
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