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What Makes a Good Support Worker by Alice Waterman

Alice Waterman is sacare’s resident blogger. She has been a client with sacare for a few years now and lives in our supported accommodation, Briarholm at Kingswood. She has a great insight into the world. We love being able to share her monthly blogs with you.


What Makes a Good Support Worker (In my Opinion!)

By Alice Waterman

There is a lot that goes into being a good support worker, but I think that one of the most important things is getting to know your clients.


The easiest way to understand your client is to learn how to communicate effectively. Being able to talk and listen clearly with your client is the best way to understand their needs and build a strong relationship. Don’t be scared to talk to your client, even if you make a mistake, that is how you learn! Making a mistake is much better than not speaking at all. I also love to chat about my day and how I am going, and I like to hear about my support workers lives too. Being willing to share a bit about yourself is an easy way to build a relationship with your client.

It is great to have fun together too! For example, playing games with your clients is an easy way for everyone to have fun. Know what TV shows and movies your client likes to watch and maybe you can join in every now and then. Just enjoy having a bit of fun together.

It is important to also build good relationships with your client’s friends and family. Being able to talk to friends and families is important, as these people spend a lot of time in your client’s life, meaning you will too!

Another key aspect to being a great support worker is to support your client's independence. This especially comes into play when you’re out in public doing things like shopping or going to the movies. Remember that you are there to support your client’s life, not control it. It can be embarrassing in public if support workers baby their clients. You cannot forget that you’re supporting adults, not children.

When you’re doing manual handling (especially helping clients get dressed or transferring to a wheelchair) make sure you check in with the client, be gentle and learn about how we like being supported. Sometimes it can hurt if we are rolled the wrong way or transferred wrong. We know you’re not trying to hurt us, but just please be careful. We also have care plans for a reason, so be sure to read and follow those too. And please don’t rush our care… this can result in us getting hurt. Support workers have lots of things to do in their day, but please take your time to understand and care for us properly.

And finally, remember that we are people too… I myself am non-verbal, but I can still understand what you are saying. Please don’t talk to me like I am a child. I have to use my phone to communicate back to you, but I still have the same thoughts and feelings as you do.

(Alice and the gang from Briarholm at her birthday last year)

Would you like to become a support worker with sacare? Have a look at our available jobs here.