One of the benefits of the NDIS is that it gives people with a disability more choice and flexibility over the services they choose. Developing plans and strategies with a therapist or keyworker are essential to achieving your child and family’s goals. As parents, we spend the most time with our child and we’re often the ones who implement the strategies during daily life. Work, busy family schedules and sibling needs, however, can make this difficult. Employing a support worker or therapy assistant can be a cost-effective way to help implement these strategies to ease the load and free up time whilst still steering the ship.
Plumtree invited Poppy Malone from Hireup to talk about their service. Hireup is an online platform that enables people with a disability or their carers to find and manage a support worker that best suits their specific needs. It was created as a response to limitations the company’s founders Jordan and Laura O’Reilly found with the existing system when caring for their own family member with a disability.
According to Poppy, Hireup addresses the lack of control over choice, as it is often the service provider who chooses the support worker who engages with the child. In cases where the worker is sick, a new person may be sent on short notice. Support workers also tend to come and go: they move on, possibly to another service. These changes can be disruptive, especially when parents and their child have built a good relationship with a person.
Hireup’s goal is to offer a more consistent service by connecting people directly. Best of all, parents and carers are able to search for support workers in their local area and find someone who not only has the right credentials but common interests as well—this can be hugely beneficial for positive outcomes and impact. For example, if your child’s plan includes time at the pool to help with sensory needs and encourage social interaction, you can search for a support worker who enjoys swimming. Other types of support can range from helping with daily routines at home to tutoring. Should a worker not be able to attend and a replacement is required, a support plan holding all the information about a child can be accessed for another worker to get up to speed.
Employees are checked and verified for safety, and Hireup takes care of administrative details such as payroll, invoicing, tax, superannuation, insurance and training. Hireup is currently registered with the NDIS in NSW, and you can use this service regardless of how you manage your funding.
Plumtree also now employs several full-time therapy assistants. Email Hajar here if you are interested in hearing more about how a therapy assistant could be included in your therapy landscape.
Plumtree believes in providing parents with information on a variety of service options so that they can create a support portfolio suitable to their families individual needs and requirements. Plumtree does not specifically endorse or recommend external services and advises that engagement with these services are at individuals discretion.