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Tips for building trust with your support worker

Registered Nurse takes a blood pressure reading for their older client at their dining table. 

Newsroom

Tips for building trust with your support worker

Trust is the foundation for effective communication, care, and positive outcomes in support relationships. Here’s how you can work to build trust with your independent support worker.

Why trust is important

Trust between you and your independent support worker is crucial in care relationships. This person is part of your home, life and personal space, so there needs to be open communication, shared goals and healthy boundaries. These are the building blocks of trust and will make sure you feel safe, comfortable and empowered when they are around.

Building trust with anyone takes time but the benefits are worth it. Here are some tips for building trust with your independent support worker.

Communication is key

Communicate your needs and wants to your support worker. Tell them how they can help you, as well as any personal goals you have. Be as clear as possible. A good support worker will listen and find ways to help you achieve these goals. Working together towards shared outcomes is a good way to create trust. On the flip side, it’s also important to be honest and tell them if you don’t feel safe or supported.

Know what you want

Before your first meet and greet with a potential support worker, make a list of things that are important to you. This could include preparing your own food with minimal assistance, along with interests like baking cupcakes or watching funny movies. Then ask questions to see if their answers align with the outcomes you want. Shared interests can develop into activities you and your support worker can do together.

Besides being fun and enjoyable, doing these activities can help you get to know each other better. Which – you guessed it – can build trust.

Create boundaries

Healthy boundaries are based on respect. This is true in any situation but especially in support work. By knowing what you want and communicating this clearly, natural boundaries will form. This also encourages independence.

Support work can be quite intimate and creating clear boundaries will make it more comfortable for both you and your support worker. Respect and trust go hand-in-hand and a professional support worker will know this.

Be patient and understanding

Building trust takes time. Be patient and give the relationship time to develop. Understand that both parties may need time to learn each other’s preferences and needs.

Overall, it’s important be aware of how your support worker makes you feel. If they’re not listening to you, or the trust just isn’t there, talk to someone you do trust. Your support worker should encourage and empower you on your path to independence, whatever that looks like for you.