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Interview Mon for job as support worker for someone with learning diffilusties

(8 Posts)
henryhsmum Sun 16-Jan-11 13:05:38


I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this. Basically, I have an interview tomorrow for a job as a companion/support worker for a young lady with a moderate learning diffiuclty (the JD isn't more specific as to what). It is basically to help her with socialising (i.e helping her shop for clothes, going to the gym etc), not to do with 'personal' care.

I was just wondering if any of you had any ideas on what would be good qualities of a support worker? I have thought of things like being personable, reliable, clear communicator, empathatic, respectful of their desire for independence, friendly, good networking skillls. Any other ideas or experience of this kind of role? I haven;t done this myself but am a parent of a 5 year old with ASD and this job sounded really interesting and was perfect for school hours. It is the girl herself who will be interviewing me and I'm not sure what to expect tbh!

Any help appreciated

henryhsmum Sun 16-Jan-11 13:06:11

I guess if I could spell difficulties that would be a start, sorry!

StartingAfresh Sun 16-Jan-11 13:15:09

Well if the girl is interviewing you herself I'd make sure you ask HER lots of questions where you can someone with ignorance but enthusiasm to learn about what she needs and wants and do well will get you far.

Tell her that you would be very keen to get the balance right between dependency and independence. That you realise you are her support, not her double and won't take over, but will be vigilant of any signs of struggling and make sure she has the support in place instantly.

I'd be interested to know whether 'support' meant doing some of the things she can't do easily, or whether it meant idenfying those scenaros and working with her to improve her skills in that area.

Al1son Sun 16-Jan-11 13:48:40

I second the idea of clarifying exactly what she is expecting. Also clarify who you would be working for. I have done this job with a group of young people who had both physical disabilities and some mild cognitive difficulties and I found that the parents expected me to act on their behalf and report back to them. Obviously I couldn't and didn't do that but it ruffled a lot of feathers.

Be careful not to make assumptions about what she can and can't do. The sky should be the limit.

Be prepared to spend some time talking about your interests and be realistic about whether you share any with her. It would be hard to work so closely with someone if you have no shared interests whatsoever.

myra Sun 16-Jan-11 14:54:10

there is likely to be a social worker or an advocasy person with her at the interview to over see it,, you are expected to be like a friend in a way to her, shadow her, help where you think she needs help ie paying her way handeling money, dressing appropriatly for what she is doing.
do what everyone else does as she has the same rights as anyone else to be there,
i work in special education [have a 36 year old with SLD]and a great part of work is in the community with the 18/19 year old pupils.
about 12 of my ex pupils have peronl aassistants to help them in there adult lives i meet a few of them regular


myra Sun 16-Jan-11 14:55:29

i think i need to learn to spell it should read personal assistants

henryhsmum Sun 16-Jan-11 19:15:44

Thanks everyone all really helpful advice. I am quite surprised I got an interview tbh but I did write about 2 pages just telling her about me so maybe that helped.

Do you think it's acceptable if i ask get at the start what the nature of her learning difficulty is or does it look rude??

Interview is at her home as she lives with her family so maybe they will be quite involved!

Al1son Sun 16-Jan-11 19:24:31

Perhaps you could ask how her learning difficulty (if that's what she calls it) affects her life.

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