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Difference Between a Carer and a Support Worker NDIS

Difference Between a Carer and a Support Worker

Understanding the roles and responsibilities of a carer and a support worker in the NDIS domain is often confusing, especially for those who are new to NDIS.

According to Carers Australia, a carer provides unpaid care and support to a family member or a friend who has a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness or an age-related condition. However, it is not necessary that the carers are professionally trained to provide the care, according to NDIS guidelines.

Imparting through a professional lens, a support worker aids the participants in achieving their personal goals, enhancing their well-being, and fostering social inclusion, by following the NDIS-specific guidelines. This is usually done through structured support plans developed in collaboration with the PWDs using their services, relevant Support Coordinators, Allied Health professionals and PWDs’ guardians. These support plans may involve assisting with Personal Care, Daily Living Activities, and Household Tasks, enabling access to community services, and facilitating social, educational and employment opportunities.

To be more specific to the roles of carer and support workers, a carer often establishes an emotional bond with the care recipient based on a pre-existing relationship, whereas a support worker maintains a professional relationship guided by the NDIS policies and procedures along with the duty of care.

Moreover, a carer’s role is typically more flexible and influenced by the NDIS participant’s immediate needs. There is no standard schedule defined, and the care provided is often reactive to situations as they arise. In contrast, a support worker’s role is bound by structured plans and schedules, ensuring that the support provided meets specific objectives outlined in the participant’s plan.

Above all, the term ‘carer’ is associated with unpaid support, essentially making it a volunteer role often carried out by family or friends. On the other hand, support work is a professional career choice that invites remuneration for the services provided.

While acknowledging the vital role of carers, it is essential to recognise that their position presents challenges. Carers often struggle due to a lack of professional training, posing risks to the quality and safety of care. Financial strain is another concern, as caring duties often require a significant time commitment, which may limit opportunities for employment.

Flair & Fine Care provides experienced and qualified support workers to manage the care needs of NDIS participants. We ensure the enhanced quality of life for the participants, according to the goals mentioned in their NDIS care plans. Our support workers work closely with the participants, their families, relevant Support Coordinators and Allied Health Professionals to optimise the outcome for the participants.