Mable’s flexible, transparent model of finding and engaging support provides clients with ultimate control over the support they choose. But as you’re making the choices, it’s important to recognise that with that choice comes certain responsibilities. One of these is setting the right expectations when you meet any potential support workers. Here’s how you do it.
Many independent support workers using the Mable platform will offer the first hour of support free for the purposes of a ‘meet and greet’. While these meetings are often an informal chat to explain the role and discover if you have common interests, they’re also a crucial opportunity to set out your expectations for how you would like to work together. Essentially, it is just like an ‘interview’, and like in any interview, both parties need to make sure they are comfortable with the arrangements of the job before proceeding. Meet and greets are available in person or via audio or video calls.
Before you decide whether you and your chosen independent support worker are a good ‘fit’, it’s important to be really clear and specific about what you will require of them during your time together. This will also give the support worker an opportunity to ask questions and decide whether they’re able – and willing – to do the tasks required.
Are they qualified for the job?
Support workers on Mable need to provide certain qualifications and evidence of relevant experience in order to offer particular services via the platform. For example, someone offering personal care will need to have a Certificate 3 or 4 in Aged Care or Disabilities, or other relevant qualifications or experience. But there are also specific skill sets within this – such as medication management, or use of a hoist – that require additional training or expertise. We recommend creating a list of the duties involved in your day to day support requirements and going through these one by one with your support worker. It’s also appropriate to ask them to bring copies of any relevant qualifications and references with them for you to review at your first meeting.
Are you both clear on the duties that are required?
Once you know your chosen support worker is able and qualified to perform the duties of the job, it’s still important to be really specific about your expectations of what those duties will involve. Even if the tasks don’t require a specific skill set, it pays to be really specific about your views of what they should encompass. Cleaning and domestic assistance is a good example, as they’re both broad terms which can be interpreted in different ways. Some support workers might be happy to perform light housework duties like dusting or washing up, but are not comfortable climbing a ladder to clean your windows. Similarly, if you’re engaging someone for social support, do you expect that they will provide you with transport or are you happy to spend time together at home? This conversation will also allow your support worker to voice any concerns about what’s expected, or set their own boundaries when it comes to what they are willing to do as part of the job.
The Mable platform provides helpful categories and definitions to help you to break down the types of work provided on the platform. For example, social support and domestic assistance categories are outlined below.
Activities, Outings & Community Access
Accompanying clients to activities of their choice, including social or community related activities.
Minor repairs in homes such as changing light bulbs, changing batteries in smoke detectors, minor repairs to furniture, cupboard doors etc.
Providing social support to Clients in their home
Light gardening, including weeding, cutting lawns, planting and clearing small plants from gardens.
Light housework, including vacuuming, dusting, cleaning bathrooms and toilets; and washing floors.
Assisting with meal preparation for someone with NO specific swallowing or chewing requirements or complex diets.
Personal Assistant (Admin)
General administrative tasks, including writing letters, posting mail and other administrative assistance.
Either accompanying a Client to the shop or shopping for them in accordance with Client needs.
Sports and Exercise
Assisting a person with community sports, fitness and daily exercise
Transporting Client in either their car or the client’s car
You can find more details for each support category on Mable by clicking the “About” icon. Use these as a basis to create your own list of services – which will then be set out in your Mable agreement.
Set it out in writing
This is where your Mable agreement comes in. Once you’ve decided on your chosen support worker, and you are comfortable that you have a shared understanding of what’s involved in the job, your support worker will then create an agreement that clearly sets out the details of your arrangement. Once this has been created, you will have an opportunity to review it and provide your approval prior to any work commencing. The more specific your agreement, the greater chance you have of avoiding any awkward conversations once you start working together. For more information and tips on understanding your Mable agreement, click through here.
Want to know more about how you can make the most of your first meeting? Click through here. Or if you’re still on the lookout for that perfect support worker for you, have you considered posting a job?