LD Network

What’s the Role of a Support Worker in Learning Disability?

The role of a Network Support Worker for people with a learning disability is a very fulfilling and varied type of job. The main purpose of your job as a Support Worker is to help the person being supported to live as rich and fulfilling life as possible.

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 to organise their finances, going to the supermarket to help do their grocery shopping, or going out for a fun day out.

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As a Learning Disability Support Worker, you will assess the needs of the person being supported to identify how you can best provide support. You will help them to enjoy hobbies and do activities together that can help them to develop greater independence, such as cooking or meal preparation. The type of support you provide will depend on the person being supported’s abilities, with some people requiring physical assistance for activities such as washing and dressing.

One of the most important aspects of being a Support Worker is to establish a good relationship with the person being supported, where they trust you and where you provide support and encouragement which enables 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

There are lots of important skills required to be a great Support Worker with the top qualities required including empathy and a passion to make a difference. At times, supporting people with a learning disability will be challenging, so the job is suited to people who are highly empathetic, compassionate and very patient. It is also very important to be friendly and reliable. As a Support Worker, someone else’s enjoyment and quality of life is dependent on the support that you provide.

The role of a Learning Disability Support Worker is very varied, so to be successful in the role, you will need to be very flexible and happy to do a job that can involve a wide range of responsibilities.

Becoming a Support Worker for people with learning disabilities is a hugely rewarding job, as you are making a significant change to the quality of life that someone has. 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 being supported’s needs will be different, and in partnership with the person’s network of support, you will help to develop and deliver a person-centred plan to help them to develop and take part 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.