Support Worker

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A vital role of a person employed as a Support Worker is to empower their clients by identifying their needs and supporting them. This may be to help a client achieve control over their life, increasing their confidence, improve their decision making capabilities to better enhance their life, improve the health and health knowledge of clients and providing them with any legal and human rights information with a view of achieving just outcomes through agreed case plans. Support Workers perform these duties in order to allow their clients to gain greater independence, either individually or as a united group and to work towards changing attitudes and structures of society that perpetuate social injustice.

Support Workers can be employed in a variety of settings, and be involved in a range of welfare related topics. They can specialise in areas such as employment, family, women's rights, to mention a few. Within these areas a number of roles may be employed by the Support Worker including acting as an advocate for their client with solicitors, doctors, health and community services, be prepared to listen, support and build rapports with clients, mediate during disagreements, reducing rates of accidental injury and prepare well documented notes. To do this, Support Workers need to have well developed transferable skills such written and verbal communication, organisation, negotiation, management and leadership as well as be able to empathise with various people.

Support Workers are required to have a tertiary degree in social work, psychology or a similar human services discipline, and some form of experience, which can be gained during your university studies. Some organisations will also prefer you to have some form of specialised grief and loss counselling training. Many of these positions will require you to make visits to clients, therefore a current drivers license may be useful.