“I know I need to stay active for my kids”
Having three young children can have its challenging moments for any parent – indeed, having a second pair of hands to help out when needed can make a big difference.
Due to nerve damage to the bottom of her spine, Melissa can face difficulties in doing the things that she would like to with her kids. Because of the various special needs of her daughter Emma-Rose (11) and twin sons Toby & Wyatt (9), it is important for Melissa to have a flexible team of support workers who can help support her and her family.
Living life as a busy family
During the week, Melissa receives support getting her kids ready for school, as well as assistance in getting her kids ready for bed. As with any young family, the weekends are often busier than the weekdays themselves: on Saturday mornings, Emma-Rose and Wyatt, who have both been diagnosed with ASD, need to be driven to their respective autism support groups, while the family regularly takes part in outdoor family activities. Recent weekend trips include going to Hangdog (the indoor rock-climbing centre), hikes to nearby national parks, as well as trips to the local pool.
Traditional providers: “untransparent and unreliable”
“Support workers have to fit in with the family and have to be reliable – I need to know someone is coming to make dinner.”
With a busy schedule, it is important for Melissa to have a team of flexible support workers that can be relied on. However, up until recently, Melissa was unsatisfied with the support she and her family were receiving through traditional providers, saying that there was “no transparency over where our NDIS funding was going” and that “the workers were often totally unreliable”, with support workers often not turning up for shifts.
Having 3 kids all with special needs, it was important for Melissa to find support workers who got along well with her children. However, in many case Melissa did not even get a “meet and greet” with a new support worker, so there was no way of knowing whether the person providing support to Melissa or her children would be a good fit, with Melissa saying “finding a good support worker was potluck”.
Finding Mable a “revelation”
A few months ago, Melissa became truly fed up with traditional providers, and was determined to find an alternative where she would be given more “choice and control.” She started researching options on Google and found Mable, a safeguarded online platform where people can take control of the support they receive by connecting directly with support workers in their area. For Melissa, “finding Mable was a revelation” with Melissa particularly enjoying that fact that, with Mable, she gets to “choose the experience,” saying “with Mable I get to choose the experience, and the pay level!”
Although Melissa investigated other online platforms, she says that she “needed a more flexible budget” to make her NDIS funding go as far as possible. On Mable, support workers and clients agree on hourly rates, rather than having these things dictated to them. Due to Mable’s low platform fees and flexible rates available, Melissa is able to get many more hours of support than she would be able to get with any other provider.
Building a team on Mable
Upon signing up to Mable, Melissa was able to post a job and find suitable support workers, who were both reliable and also fit in well with her family. Many of her Mable support workers are friends, and study together at the University of Wollongong. Having a team of supports who know each other is an arrangement that works well for Melissa and her family, with Melissa saying “if one can’t take a shift, another can fill in”.
Due to its ease of use, Melissa’s daughter Emma-Rose has been able to use the Mable platform to find her own support workers, something that has been an invaluable experience for her in developing her independence. After interviewing a number of support workers herself, Emma-Rose has found a new support worker named Paul who is going to “help her join Little Nippers and improve her swimming”.
Having “never having had this much control”, or as much flexibility with any other provider, Melissa is looking forward to continuing using Mable to help her and her children meet their goals and take part in the things they enjoy doing.
Mable is an online platform where you choose and schedule the support that’s right for you. Click here to start searching the profiles of over 5,600 workers.