Some people are born wanting to help, others develop that interest through a variety of different lessons learnt. Bringing joy to someone who has an unfortunate hinderance to their life is a feeling that matches no other. Taking a client out for a day, teaching them a new skill or just simply being a person of support for them are each great things that you can do to help someone struggling. Although it may cost you some money and time, it is all worth it to successfully obtain your certificate 4 in disability care.
Making a difference to another person’s life is very rewarding and this is what your role as a disability worker would require you to do each and every day.
Here is a list of the benefits:
- Variety as each day is a different one
- Work-life balance, varied hours so you can arrange your schedule to best fit both you and your client’s needs
- The work is not easy and there definitely will be challenges but it adds to the rewards as it will never become stagnant or leave you feeling like you need more variety
- Opportunities, there are plenty of jobs available and in all different parts of the disability industry there are new jobs opening each day
What would you be doing?
You are giving a level of assistance but the level you are giving will depend on the health and abilities of the individual client. Most often a disability worker will give physical, personal and emotional support to those suffering with a disability. Working with people to help them develop and maintain skills is very rewarding and is a feeling that doesn’t come with any other types of jobs.
The working day of a disability carer can include:
- Developing different programs to support the different variety of clients and help them to develop abilities and skills that can help them to live as independently as they possible can.
- Going on outings with them and visiting social activities, sometimes you may feel like it could be a benefit to invite any family members they have also. Consider visiting educational and fun environments such as a museum display and take them through the exhibition walls to help educate them on something as valuable as the art industry.
- Doing household tasks like cooking, serving meals, planning menus, shopping and cleaning. This offers the client more opportunities to develop life-skills for their own benefit.
- Being a companion and giving out support during those activities.
- Helping those with a disability to remain close to their family and friends and advocates as well.
- Helping them to develop and maintain their independence in personal care, hygiene and healthcare.
- The most rewarding part of the job is when you are helping those develop certain skills that can help those with a disability to make decisions that affect their lives and help them to live independently.
What about the salary?
Your salary will be different depending on the stage of your career (how long have you been practising) and the organisation that you are working within. The industry offers very good rates and superannuation as well as the chance to earn a salary package if the organisation allows it. This means you can access part of your pay tax-free which can add more dollars to your overall pay. More money, more happiness!
What qualifications and experience do I need?
Anyone can work within the disability sector even if you don’t have any experience or qualifications. You only need to complete the certificate 3 and the IV in disability which are short courses and nothing too stressful. Completing these courses will improve on your employability skills. If you have previous experience in being a live in nanny or have participated in a wide selection of nanny services, this is relevant experience for the disability care industry as this shows that you know how to take care of a specific group of people. Alternatively, previous experience and history as a schoolteacher will have you more prepared compared to other candidates. Coming from a teaching or nanny background means you have relevant experience in dealing with children, some of who could have been problematic or had a variety of learning difficulties. Coming into the disability care industry means you need to be prepared to deal with your clients when they are having a bad day, sometimes even the smallest things can set their day into a downward spiral.
You can also gain more qualifications and skills and get into team leader roles or even management. Some companies that you work for will be happy to train you in these fields, they may even pay for you to participate in some vocational education. You need to ensure that you have the right attitude and patience when working with clients who have a disability. It is important that they are viewed as valued people who have many different capabilities and give them encouragement so they can reach their full potential. It is important to foster positive behaviour as most times these individuals have had a negative outlook on life due to the situation they were born in, offering them a person of positivity will help them to see the brighter side of life.
How do I get started?
Before you can start working you will need to have a police check carried out which you can apply for online and get yourself qualified within first aid that will prepare you for an emergency situation. You will also need a working with children check that qualifies you to work with children, regardless of their mental stability or health.
Talk to those around you to give you some insight on the job field and you can even take on volunteering to ensure that you can cope with the demands of the job. It is important to understand what you are taking on before you get there.
If you are seeking a career in disability care, your first step should be to get the correct qualifications that allows you to legally do so. After that, put an emphasis on being a positive role-model and the rest will come naturally.