Best Practice Support Work

Being a support worker can be one of the most rewarding and enjoyable jobs you can do however without a best practice framework it can difficult at times to understand how best to assist someone to reach their goals and achieve their objectives.  The Active Support Resource Centre provides an online learning resource called “Every moment has potential” which takes you through a handful of modules that support you in your work. Module 3 takes you through the values required to successfully work alongside someone with disability. This resource is equally as beneficial to people with disability and their families so that they can envision and bring to life the kind of support that will be meaningful for them. 

The key elements of best practice can be summarised as:  

Being responsive to the unique needs of each person you work with. Always think about how to provide just the right amount of support.

Seeing every person as an individual

Supporting and respecting the choices of the people you work with. Always think about how the preferences of the people you work with might differ from your own.

Active Listening – really paying attention to what a person is communicating to you through their words or actions.  Give people the best help possible to get their message across to you and others.  

Being flexible, while recognising the value of routine – not allowing routines to dominate the lives of the people you work with. 

Using positive language – always framing communication in a positive rather than negative way. Adjusting your communication to enable the people you support to succeed in everything they do.   

Acknowledging and responding to difference positively

Paying attention to the here and now – seeing that in every moment the quality of your work affects the lives of people you work with.

Being sensitive to the environment – being aware of and responsive to the effect of the immediate and wider social and physical context on people’s lives


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