True Stories: Rhiannon Kate – It’s not a job, it’s a privilege

Rhi Kate_editedI have been working in this field for 10 years now, starting straight out of high school as a teacher’s aide working with children with autism and as a Director of Special Needs Vacation Care. In 2005 I started working at the House With No Steps (HWNS) and have not looked back since.

I started out as a Trainee Support Worker in Day Programs at HWNS and then I worked in the Training Department. Through HWNS I have also been able to complete three industry related Certificate IV qualifications through the organisation’s amazing training opportunities. My very new and exciting role at HWNS is as a Person Centred Facilitator.

Person centred planning has been around since the 70’s and involves a series of planning tools to help people work out what they want from their future, and to create action to help them achieve those dreams and wishes. Person centred thinking is how we think about the people we support and involves a series of tools to help us get to know people, what’s important to them, their circles of support, their gifts and strengths, and what best support looks like to them.

We want to see people living meaningful lives, to have the experiences we all have with the right support for them, to facilitate opportunities for community inclusion, open employment, relationships, friendships, empowerment and a sense of being a regular citizen with a valued role.

I get to go out and train staff in our services, inspiring them to support people to have more control over their own lives. I also get to facilitate planning for people with them as the focus, working closely with their families/carers to establish future aspirations and best support, on their terms. The beauty of person centred planning is that it’s not a one size fits all approach.

My friends and I who work in this industry don’t like it when we are told we are ‘so special’ to do what we do. We work with people. People who require support just like everybody else does, some more than others. We’re there to support them to achieve, to be independent, to have jobs, to learn, to enjoy life, to have relationships, to travel, to find where their gifts and skills fit into the community and to be happy.

It’s not a job, it’s a privilege. The people I support have changed my life, as much as I may have contributed to theirs.

Rhiannon Kate

Person Centred Facilitator

House With No Steps (HWNS)

 

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