For some clients, working with people they already know sounds like a perfect solution. For others, it might seem like a recipe for disaster. The good news is, when you’re finding and hiring your own support using the Mable platform, the choice to hire people from within your community is yours. Even better, if you already have an informal support network in place and want to invite them to Mable to be part of your team, we’ve made it even easier.
Finding the perfect team to support you to live your life can take time. For many of our clients, it’s just as important to find someone who shares their common interests or even their sense of humour as it is to find someone who has the right professional skills and experience.
Can I formalise my informal supports?
Your existing community might be comprised of professionals you’ve hired, as well as ‘informal supports’, friends and family members who help you out with different aspects of your life. Maybe it’s a neighbour who gives you a lift from time to time, or a student from the community who pops around to mow the lawn for a little cash in hand. It could be a friend who helps you with shopping, or who supports you when you’re going for a night out. For many people with a disability, or those who are ageing, these informal supports are an invaluable resource. As they are informal, they are subject to the availability and personal commitments of others. With the introduction of the NDIS and Consumer Directed Aged Care, you can now use your government funding to pay these people via Mable as part of your formal support team. It’s important to note that unfortunately, at this stage, permission to use your government funding to pay family members is only given in certain circumstances and is subject to a specific application process. More information on how this works under the NDIS can be found here. Similarly, with Home Care Packages, you’ll need to contact My Aged Care to find out more about how to support existing carers that are also family members.
For any of your other informal supports, there are lots of benefits to inviting them to join your team on Mable. You already have a history together, so they know how you like to be supported, and it’s likely to be a convenient, efficient arrangement that enables you to use your hours of support wisely. We get lots of requests from clients about how they can make this happen, so we’ve been working on making it even easier.
How can I use my government funding to pay a friend to support me?
Firstly, if you haven’t already, you’ll need to sign up to mable.com.au. It’s quick, easy and free to do. You can follow the links to find more information on how Mable works with NDIS funding and Home Care Packages. While you’re signing up, you have the opportunity to enter their name and email address and we’ll invite them to join Mable as an independent worker and explain how the platform works.If you’ve already signed up to the Mable platform as a client, you can easily invite people from your community to register on Mable as an independent support worker by clicking ‘Invite Workers’ in your dashboard on the left panel. They’ll receive the same invitation mentioned above, and once they’re approved they can begin providing supports to you. They won’t require any specific qualifications or certifications, unless they are providing you with personal care (assistance with daily care tasks like showering, going to the bathroom or dressing), using specialised equipment like a hoist or providing any kind of nursing, therapy or medication assistance.
Once they’re signed up and approved as workers on the platform, they will also be covered by Mable’s comprehensive insurances. Remember, workers are only covered for work that’s booked and paid for via the platform. It’s important that you send an agreement, and they accept it, before any work commences.
Because you’ve let us know that you’re ready and waiting to hire them, we’ll make sure we fast-track their registration, so you can get started asap!
Is it really a good idea to hire people I already know?
Hiring from within your existing community is not for everyone. Some people might feel uncomfortable with blurring the line between an acquaintance and a working relationship. But for others, the familiarity, convenience and comfort of building a network from those they know can result in the best kind of mutually rewarding long-term support relationships.If you’re interested in trying it out, we recommend being really open and honest about what it will involve before you get started. Here’s some things to think about:
Setting the work expectations – make sure you’re really clear about exactly what the work will involve, when and where you need it and make sure they are comfortable and qualified to do it.
Putting a price on support – this can be a tricky thing to do, but we help you work out a ballpark. People offering services through Mable are subject to a minimum hourly rate and we also recommend all new workers take a look at what’s being charged for similar work in their area, and using it as a guide when setting their own rates.
Don’t forget expenses – make sure you have a mutual understanding about how you’ll treat any work expenses, like fuel costs or tickets to any social events you’ll attend together.
Always on time – remind them that you’re relying on them, and although you may be mates, it’s important they treat the commitment like any normal job. With Mable, any job must clearly be scheduled, so it’s easy to ensure there’s no misunderstanding.
Tell them what you think – if someone is supporting you as a personal favour, you might be uncomfortable letting them know if you’d like them to do it differently. Make sure you will be in a position to provide feedback to them if they need it and they will be OK to take it on board.