What makes a good support worker?

A young child with Down syndrome and her support worker playing with wooden blocks.

Being a support worker can be a highly rewarding yet demanding career. A passion and dedication to maximising the quality of life of those receiving your support is essential. Personal qualities like respect, honesty, flexibility and communication skills give support workers a well-rounded base to connect with clients, whether they are looking for aged care support or disability support.

It also helps to be patient and have an understanding, supportive and caring nature – empathy goes a long way.

If you have a passion for making a positive difference to the lives of people with disability and helping people live independently and to their full potential, you might make a great support worker.

5 qualities of a good support worker


A passion and empathy for helping people to maintain their independence, coupled with understanding will help make you an excellent support worker.


A good support worker needs to be reliable as their services are depended on by clients. Being reliable means being on time, at the right address and ready to start work when you’re expected to. Your clients may have an appointment, an event, commitments or a schedule that they need your help to stick to, so being reliable is very important.


People who require support from aged care or disability support workers need to be able to trust that they can keep them safe from harm. Being trustworthy means you are honest, diligent and reliable. Trust is very important to someone who depends on you for their care and while it can take a long time to earn, it’s integral to being a good support worker.


Home care assistance can be far more enjoyable for someone who needs support, when they are with a person who is patient and calm. Some clients may take longer to complete tasks or get anxious and repeat themselves. When this happens, patience from support workers is very important to ensure client wellbeing.


Positivity can help motivate and encourage clients to achieve their goals and is a valuable personal quality of an effective support worker. Learning life skills and achieving goals can build independence, which can be an important factor in an individual’s sense of happiness.

What else makes a good support worker?


Although you don’t need a formal qualification to work as a support worker, it is a role that needs certain qualities and some basic skills you can draw on, such as being able to assess individual care needs, provide physical care, having basic life support skills, etc.

If you work as an independent support worker through Mable, you can provide social support and domestic assistance, as these don’t require you to have formal qualifications, and are highly demanded by clients on the Mable platform. For more complex supports, though, you will require a relevant vocational qualification.

Learn more about qualifications you can gain to become a support worker, whether it’s in aged care or disability.


It’s true that you don’t need to have experience to be a support worker. However, having experience can improve your ability to offer better support for potential clients. To do this, and to boost your resume, you may wish to volunteer in aged care or disability services.

You can also register on Mable to become an Independent Support Worker to provide various services such as cleaning, gardening, personal care, social and community participation as well as assisting clients to develop their skills, abilities and confidence. These services don’t need you to have experience as a support worker.

Working as an independent support worker through Mable offers many benefits. Through Mable, you get to choose the hours you work, choose the clients you work with, choose how much you charge for your services. Importantly, you have the opportunity to create long-term relationships with the clients you connect with, through Mable.


Support workers provide support to people with disabilities and can work in people’s homes, in specialised care settings or in hospitals on a full time, part time or casual basis, depending on the needs of the client. Aged care and disability support workers also provide support with implementing nursing, personal care, speech therapy, psychology, physiotherapy and occupational therapy services.

Learn more about what a disability support worker does.

To become an independent support worker on Mable, you will need:

* The criminal history check must be completed through the link provided by Mable. This ensures that the check covers the type of work that you will be conducting via the Mable platform.

Read this detailed guide on becoming a support worker on Mable. For more information, explore our frequently asked questions.