The role of a Learning Disability Support Worker is a very fulfilling job. The main purpose of the job as a Support Worker is to help the supported person live a fulfilling life. What this looks like will vary from one person to another, depending on the person’s abilities and interests. It could involve helping the person organise the finances, going to the supermarket to do the grocery shopping or going for a daily walk.
As a Learning Disability Support Worker, you will assess the needs of the supported person to identify how you can best provide support. You will help them to enjoy hobbies and do activities that can help them develop greater independence. The type of support you provide will depend on the person’s abilities for activities such as washing and dressing, cooking or meal preparation.
One of the most important aspects of being a Support Worker is establishing a good relationship with the supported individuals, where they trust you and where you provide support and encouragement, enabling them to play an active part in their community. Your role is to help people with a learning disability to have access to opportunities in life which are available to everyone.
Key Skills and Characteristics of a Support Worker
Many essential skills are required to be a great Support Worker with the top qualities required, including empathy and a passion for making a difference. At times, supporting people with a learning disability will be challenging, so the job is suited to highly empathetic, compassionate and patient people. It is also essential to be friendly and reliable. As a Support Worker, someone else’s enjoyment and quality of life depend on the support.
The role of a Learning Disability Support Worker varies. So, to succeed in the role, you will need to be very flexible and happy to do a job involving a wide range of responsibilities.
Becoming a Support Worker for people with learning disabilities is a rewarding job, as you are making a significant change to the quality of life of people. If knowing that you are doing a job that makes a big difference is a motivation to you, then working with people with learning disabilities will give you that opportunity.
Every person has different needs, and in partnership with the person’s network of support, you will help to develop and deliver a person-centred plan to help them develop and participate in activities that build up their social network. This often involves using community resources and finding groups and activities in the local area that the person being supported will benefit from.
The person-centred plan should be focused on enabling the person being supported to live as independently as possible and to achieve their aspirations and goals.