Ashlee, whose son Elliot (13) was diagnosed with ASD at the age of four, works hard to ensure that her son stays involved in his community and lives a rich and full life.
On top of his mother’s support (and help from his biggest advocate and younger brother Jude), Elliot has benefited from support workers from a young age. “As Elliot became older, his autism became something that required special attention. We’ve had primary support workers for Elliot since he was quite young – for 9 or 10 years.” says Ashlee.
A new approach to finding support
For a long time, Ashlee engaged her workers independently. She first heard about Mable through the community of parents at Elliot’s school.
“I heard about Mable through other parents at my son’s special needs school. I was surrounded constantly by other mums who understood the juggling act that comes with just being a parent, and the added complexity of having a child with special needs. Because I was part of this community, I heard about Mable and I loved the model.”
Mable is an online platform where people can engage with support workers directly, either through a job’s board or by searching based on what matters most to you and your family, reading worker’s profiles and then reaching out to support workers who you think might be a good match. By using Mable to engage your support team directly, you can pay significantly lower rates than NDIS reference rates. When you find a support worker in your community that you like, you can arrange a time to meet and discuss the support you want them to provide in greater detail.
Support that works alongside therapies
On the topic of things to consider when finding a new support worker, Ashlee says “the main things I look out for when interviewing new support workers are initiative and communication.” Indeed, for Ashlee, due to the fact that Elliot’s support workers often act as an intermediary between Ashlee and Elliot’s therapists, high level communication skills are vital.
“We’re working on Elliot’s social skills, which are the key things we’re doing with his therapies. The worker needs to talk to the therapist about what happened in the session, and then be able to communicate that back to us, because we apply what we learnt in the session at home – to make sure that the therapy has an outcome.”
Elliot’s workers on the Mable platform mainly provide Elliot with assistance and support in home and also in engaging with his community.
“Going out on the train, learning how to tap on and tap off. Lining up, being patient. Particularly with children with autism, patience is often not their strong suit. Our workers mainly give opportunities to be in the community, and opportunities to interact with the community”
One particularly outstanding worker that Ashlee found on the Mable platform was a support worker named Jason, a young man who’d previously worked in kitchens before becoming a support worker.
“He was always on-time and energetic. The kids loved him and he always did a little bit extra around the house which was so greatly appreciated.”
A safeguarded system
For the workers that Ashlee sources herself through her own networks, Ashlee ensures that they sign up to the Mable platform, for everyone’s protection.
“I liked how vigorously Mable vets support workers on its platform. They’ve got to get police checks, working with children checks if they’re working with kids, and they’ve got to pass certain bars which is really important. It protects everybody.”
If you bring your own support worker to the Mable platform, Mable will fast-track the onboarding and approval process, ensuring that the process is as smooth as possible.
Beyond the safeguarded aspect of the platform. Ashlee also appreciates how straightforward the Mable platform means keeping track of important records.
“I self-manage Elliot’s NDIS package, and the invoicing means that if I get audited by the NDIA, I can just show all the hours. It makes my record keeping easy.”
For people looking to engage support workers for the first time, Ashlee has the following advice to offer:
“My advice would be to go through a company like Mable, because they have already gone through the process of screening out people who are unsuitable.”
“I love Mable’s model; it makes everything so easy for me.”
Mable is a safeguarded online platform where you choose and schedule the support that’s right for you. By using Mable to engage your support team directly, you can pay significantly lower hourly rates and make your NDIS funding go further. That means more hours of support for you. Click here to start searching the profiles of over 5,600 workers.