Finding Support Workers that suit can change life for the better in so many ways. From platforms like Kynd to more traditional-style organisations, finding the right Disability Support Worker or NDIS Provider shouldn't feel like mission impossible.
So sit back. Soak up this information on how to find a Disability Support Worker.
Take the time to make this hugely important decision about what's right for you.
How Is Your NDIS Funding Managed?
Before you launch into the task of finding Disability Support Workers or NDIS Providers, it’s important to consider how your NDIS funding is managed, or, how you would like it to be managed in the future if you don’t yet have your NDIS Plan.
This is because not all NDIS funding management types offer the same amount of flexibility when it comes to the type of support you'll receive and who provides it.
We dive into the three ways you can manage your NDIS funding in this article.
Registered vs. Unregistered Providers
For many people, the ‘unregistered’ rings a warning bell and raises a red flag. But when it comes to NDIS Providers, unregistered doesn’t equate to unreliable or unskilled. Did you know... about 90% of all NDIS Providers are unregistered.
People and Organisations can apply to become Registered NDIS Providers.
As most NDIS Participants are now using a Self or Plan Managed funding type, the majority of NDIS Participants are able to use unregistered Providers - and they do!
The NDIS Registration Process involves audits, certificates, fees, paperwork and many questions. Not all Support Workers or service providers will have allocated the time and resources to this process! So, although it might feel reassuring to only use NDIS-registered Support Workers, you may find it severely limits your choices.
There are ways to feel confident you are choosing the right support. Most agencies and online platforms take extra steps to verify the people using their services.
Online Platforms vs. Traditional Agencies
So you have Self or Plan Managed funding and the flexibility to choose your Support Worker? Now we can dive into the ways you can find them.
We’ll cover the two most popular methods of finding Support Workers below: the online platform method (choose a Support Worker) or the traditional way (choose an organisation). You may also wish to peruse Facebook groups, ask community members or chat with friends for ideas. Once found, you can even BYO with Kynd.
Be careful though:
Some of the ideas above (like if you're finding and asking around for Support Workers on Facebook) don't give you any assurance or safeguards. That's why at Kynd, we're big believers in building smart safeguards through verifications, 3rd party assistance and technology.
Ensure your Support Workers are fully verified and that ongoing checks exist.
Finding Disability Support Workers Through Providers
Before technology propelled us to where we are now, local agencies and mainstream organisations were the main way people living with a disability connected to Support Workers. For decades, people had limited choices.
When it comes to finding Disability Support Workers, a Provider is unlikely to be able to offer the range of choices and flexibility that online platforms offer. They are also likely to have set fees, service agreements that can't be negotiated, manual processes and offer limited choice in what people or schedules are available.
Advantages Of A Traditional Agency or Provider
Traditional agencies might employ or contract their Support Workers directly, so they're likely to have been through a screening process and be able to guarantee services, by sending any Support Worker they have available at times. You might also be able to visit the Provider's office and discuss their NDIS support options.
Things to consider when using a traditional NDIS Provider.
- Hourly rates are often set by them at the NDIS 'Price Guide' maximum
- Expect a higher average hourly rate than Support Workers on online platforms
- There can often be a 30-day notice period to cancel a Service Agreement
- It might take anywhere between 7 to 14 days for getting things going
- There is a limited pool of employees or contractors to support you
- You may not have a chance to meet your Support Worker before shifts
- They might be able to offer a backup Support Worker for cancellations
Finding Disability Support Workers On Online Platforms
Using an online platform like Kynd opens up a world of possibilities.
Typically offered in the form of an app and website platform, online platforms bring together Independent Support Workers from a diverse range of people and backgrounds, displaying them all in one handy spot for you to browse through.
You can use filters and sort NDIS Providers based on your individual needs and interests. Maybe you want a Support Worker for your teenage son that has an interest in gaming and basketball, a current WWCC check and a qualification.
An online platform gives the flexibility to choose people based on specific needs.
Advantages Of An Online Platform
- You have plenty of choice and control over who you choose
- Have 'Meet and Greets with potential Support Workers prior to bookings
- No lock-in contracts, meaning you can cancel the Support Worker if you like
- The average time to match with someone is often quicker
- Rates are often mutually agreed upon with Support Workers
- Hourly rates are often lower than those offered by Provider Organisations
- You'll still get access to plenty of NDIS safeguards
When trying to find a Support Worker, it’s important to assess your individual circumstances and needs. It might be worth speaking to friends and members of your community to hear what worked for them or any advice they might have.
You should also consider whether you would like the freedom to choose based on personality, price, time and other factors you find important or whether you’d prefer someone else to organise everything for you.
Now that you know the two main options available when it comes to finding a Support Worker, you’re one step closer to finding support that suits you.