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Choosing Your Support Workers

In this guide:

Self-managing your Home Care Package gives you the freedom and joy of handpicking your support workers. 

In this guide, we’ll assist you in making the right choices. If you’re unsure about negotiating rates or ensuring the quality of support matches the cost, below we provide some helpful tips in navigating these conversations.

What Makes Good Support

Your support worker is your ally, assisting with your care-related needs. This might involve: 

  • Helping with daily tasks at home
  • Emotional and physical support
  • Collaborating with your family and other support workers
  • Transport to medical appointments, social or community events, and 
  • Helping you maintain your independence at home

A good support worker not only meets your needs but also helps you achieve your goals while boosting your confidence and independence.

Below are some traits to consider when selecting your support worker:

  • Empathy: someone who understands the needs of older individuals and can demonstrate compassion in their interactions.
  • Communication skills: it’s possible your support worker may also be interacting with other family members, so effective communication skills are critical.
  • Reliability: someone who will show up on time and perform tasks as you require.
  • Adaptable: as your care needs may change, your support worker needs to be able to adjust their approach and be flexible to your needs.
  • Respect for Dignity and Independence: Acknowledges and respects your dignity and independence, promoting a sense of autonomy while providing necessary support.
  • Professionalism: Maintains a professional demeanor while also fostering a warm and friendly relationship.

Understanding Support Worker Rates

The hourly rates for independent support workers depends on the level of support required, their skills, qualifications, and experience. 

Beyond the hourly rate, there are other considerations when choosing a support worker, such as:

  • What support you want and need, and any potential specialist experience your support worker would require
  • Do they need a specific qualification? 
  • How many hours of support you’ll need
  • Cultural, language or social background you would like your support worker to have or are comfortable in supporting
  • If you require transport, do they have a driver’s licence, a clean driving record and access to a reliable vehicle

Negotiating Your Rates

Engaging a support worker independently allows you to negotiate and mutually agree on an hourly rate. Negotiating rates is about ensuring fair compensation for a support workers valuable service.

Here are some friendly tips:

Research Standard Rates: Begin by researching the standard rates for support workers in your area. Understanding the average rates will provide you with a benchmark for negotiation.

Consider Experience and Qualifications: Consider the support worker’s experience, qualifications, and expertise. A more experienced and skilled support worker may have a higher rate.

Discuss Expectations: Have an open and honest conversation about the specific tasks and responsibilities involved in the role. Communicate your expectations to ensure both parties have a mutual understanding.

Flexibility in Hours: If you can offer flexibility regarding working hours or days, this may be a point for negotiation. Some support workers may be more open to adjusting their rates if you have flexibility in your schedule.

Be Transparent About Budget: Communicate openly about budget constraints, fostering understanding and compromise. Support workers may be more understanding if they know your limitations and may be willing to find a compromise.

Document the Agreement: Once an agreement is reached, document it in writing to avoid misunderstandings.

Learn More: Mable

Remember, open communication is the key to successful negotiations. Aim for a collaborative and win-win outcome, recognising the value of the support worker and mutual benefit to yourself and them. 

Platforms like Mable can help you source support workers while providing the assurance of strict verification processes and insurances.

Your ultimate goal is a shared understanding that values the support worker and ensures a successful long-term relationship.

Ready to find out more visit Mable today. 

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