If you’re looking for a rewarding and diverse career and you have a passion for helping others, then perhaps a career in disability support is something you’ve been looking for. To learn more about the role and what’s required to get started, this article will be focusing on how to become a disability support worker in Australia and what qualifications you’ll be required to have.
What Is a Disability Support Worker and What Do They Do?
Disability support is all about providing the necessary care for people with disabilities. This care service may take place at the individual’s home, a residential centre, a clinic or in the hospital. Disability support workers are not in it all alone, as they work in conjunction with other healthcare workers and professionals to ensure the well being, both physically and mentally, of the person with the disability.
Along with providing general support and assistance, there is a more personal role to play, as disability support workers also become companions.
What Are the Requirements of a Disability Support Worker?
Apart from qualifications and training, you’ll need to possess certain skills and attributes to be successful in a career as a disability support worker in Australia.
Good communication skills are a must as you’ll regularly be communicating with other healthcare professionals and the individual in your care. This also includes the ability to listen and be understanding. Communication goes hand in hand with the teamwork aspect of disability support work.
Having patience is a key prerequisite to becoming a support worker. Impatient people invariably don’t fare well in careers of this nature, so patience is an absolute must have character trait. You’ll also need to be flexible and adaptable and possess a caring and supportive disposition.
There is a lot of responsibility placed on the shoulders of disability support workers, so if you’re considering a career in this field, you’ll need to be committed and not afraid of taking on responsibility.
At times, the job role can be quite physically demanding. You’ll also need to be able to perform domestic duties efficiently as part of your job description.
It’s a diverse and rewarding role, so if you have what it takes, it could very well be the career choice you’re suited to.
Qualifications for a Career In Disability Support
Now that we’ve covered some characteristics and skills a disability support worker is required to have, what qualifications and education are required to get started?
Certificate 4 in Disability is the course you’ll need to successfully complete to commence a career in disability support from the ground level. You can start with Certificate 3 in Disability and then work through the Certificate 4 course to become qualified through these nationally recognised courses.
Let’s take a closer look at Certificate IV In Disability.
The course is a blend of both classroom and workplace placement to complete the required modules. The course is also flexible to a degree.
There are a total of 14 units of competency, 11 of which are core units. Let’s take a look at those core units:
- CHCCCS015 – Provide individualised support
- CHCDIS002 – Learning to follow established person-centred behaviour supports
- CHCDIS005 – Developing and providing person-centred service responses
- CHCDIS007 – Empowerment of people with disability
- CHCDIS008 – Facilitating community participation and social inclusion
- CHCDIS009 – Ongoing skills development using a person-centred approach
- CHCDIV001 – Learning to work with diverse people
- CHCLEG003 – Managing legal and ethical compliance
- HLTAAP001 – Recognising healthy body systems
- HLTWHS002 – Follow safe work practices for client care
- CHCDIS010 – Providing person-centred services to people with a disability with complex needs
To be considered for the Certificate 4 course, you’ll need to have at least obtained your school certificate and you must undergo a National Police Check as well as a Working with Vulnerable People Check.
To find courses in your area, just search online. Using Perth as an example, type in terms like:
- Disability courses Perth
- Certificate IV in Disability
- Perth courses in disability support
- And so forth…
A career in disability support is both a rewarding and noble one. If you believe you have what it takes, then get started with a certificate course and take the first step.