Support Worker


I am going to be starting my role in the coming weeks as support worker for adults with learning disabilities, complex needs and challenging behaviour. As it’s my first paid role since 2018, I am a little worried and concerned how it’s going go, whether the clients will like me working for them, whether I am respected as an individual and I am also worried in case I am in situation where the clients abscond from my care if I’m out in the community with them. As we don’t have eyes in back our of heads and there will be times when I have got to a make phone calls or I am supervising another client in the grocery store for instance.

I haven’t had role like this before with this amount of responsibility, but I’m ready to take on the challenge.

Get to really know the individuals. What they like, what they don’t like, trigger situations. Put yourself in those shoes. Form strong bonds through mutual activities and intensive interaction for those living at earlier communication stages. Check out NAC Wellbeing for so many ideas. But start with the individual and take your lead from them. Don’t try and impose your timings and activities, just let them lead and be open and “listening”. I wish you were starting with us! We need open minded Keyworkers!

Alison Cooper
Executive Director

hello ,
suggestions for the new start support person , observation is very important the person does not know you, on first contact observe the body language this is very important think back in your own life when you may have been introduced to a person and for some reason you take a dislike to the person you are not able to explain why but you do not want to spend quality time with this person, empty your mind of what you think will work for this person you are going to support he/she will have their own way of doing things it is important you fit into this do not think you are going to change her/ his life until you have established the parson Ikie’s you , I E body language is positive then you still need to tread with great cushion , please do not see what you want to see for this relationship to work both parties must be happy.
at this point you are a stranger to person you are hoping to support, a probationary period of about six months with the proviso the contract can be terminated at any time within the six months or what ever period has been agreed , is one of the best ways of observing weather the working relationship will work
it is not until you have been in this person’s life for a good period of time and built-up trust and understanding on both sides will you achieve best outcomes.
This is just a brief overview of main points to be aware of one i have not mentioned, the family you need to work with the them as a complete package as time goes on and the person being supported confidence grows you can feed back to the family decisions taken by the supported person.
i base this information on my own experience as a family carer for thirty years supporting an adult with server learning difficulty / autism .
hope this is useful .
take care ,

That is so well said Don, I read it with great interest and learn from your answer,


Good luck with your role, I’m sure you will do a great job,



Its very good that you are asking the questions. My son fits into all your categories but would only abscond slowly since he is a wheelchair user. My suggestion would be that you ask for time just to sit with your clients for a good while. Just sit quietly beside them, preferably in their own room, and simply respond to their overtures. Don’t reach out to touch them, unless they initiate it, respond to their questions or copy their sounds back to them if they are non-verbal, make eye contact when they initiate it and simply wait for them to accept you. Stronger bonds can be built on that initial base. Regarding your anxieties about problem when out in the community, your manager should not put you in the position of being in sole charge in the community until you and the manager are fully confident that you are able to take on the role. If you are asked to do so before you are ready, you should say that you are not yet ready. That should not reflect badly on you. If one of your clients is known to abscond, they should be two-to-one in the community. Good luck.