As an independent support worker on Mable, you have lots of choices. Choices about who you work with, the verified services you choose to provide, and when you do it. Because of all this flexibility, it’s important to be really clear about your intentions and set the right expectations about the work when you meet any potential clients. Here’s some tips on how you could do it.
Many independent support workers using the Mable platform will offer the opportunity to have ‘meet and greet’. While these meetings are often an informal chat over a cup of coffee, they’re also a crucial opportunity to set out your expectations for how you would like to work with a new client. We recommend to have this first meet and greet in a public place, like a cafe or a library.
Essentially, it is an interview process for both you and your client, and both parties need to make sure they are comfortable with the arrangements of the job before you proceed. Before you decide whether you and your client are a good ‘fit’, it’s important to be really clear and specific about your understanding of the work that will be undertaken and make sure your client is on the same page.
First thing’s first: do you have the right skills and qualifications for the work?
When you meet with your client, make sure they are not making assumptions about the specific services you are able to offer. We recommend discussing and creating a list together of the duties involved in their day to day support. Be transparent about the work that you can’t, or don’t wish to do. This is not just limited to qualifications. For example, if you have any physical limitations that make it difficult for you to do anything strenuous, make sure your client understands these at the outset. Remember also to take copies of any relevant qualifications and references with you to your first meeting to give your client an opportunity to review them.
Are you both clear on the duties that are required?
Once you know you have the experience and qualifications to perform the duties of the job, it’s still important that you and your client are really specific about the expectations of what those duties will involve. Even if the tasks don’t require a specific skill set, it pays to ask your client to be really specific when explaining what they believe 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 a client’s windows or mowing the lawn. Similarly, if you’re being engaged to provide social support, does your client expect that you will provide transport? This conversation will allow you to voice any concerns about what’s expected, or set your own boundaries when it comes to what you 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 as follows
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 you can then set out in your Mable agreement.
Set it out in writing
This is where your Mable agreement comes in. Once you and your client have decided to start working together, and you are comfortable that you have a shared understanding of what’s involved in the job, clearly set out the details within your Mable agreement. Don’t be afraid to be really detailed here. The more specific you are within your agreement, the greater chance you have of avoiding any awkward conversations once you start working together. Read more here about why your Mable agreement is so important to you as an independent support worker.
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