Lauren Brown has been a stay-at-home mum for the past eight years, caring for her two autistic boys, Archer, nine, and Oliver, seven, while dad Derek worked long hours to support the family.
Once the boys were both in school, Lauren had hoped that she might finally be able to take some time for herself to study and even return to work. But she couldn’t imagine how that could be possible. She just didn’t trust that anyone could care and support her sons as well as she and Derek did.
Lauren did finally engage with a support worker agency, but despite her wish list, none of the support workers that they sent her were a good fit for Archer and Oliver.
“The boys are extremely active and impulsive, so we needed someone who was fit, reliable and on the ball. But the person they sent us was the complete opposite and not suited to them at all,” Lauren says.
She didn’t feel like the agency had listened to what she wanted, and that they just sent whoever they had that was available at the time.
“It’s just so exhausting and time-consuming trying to find someone who fits in with your children, your life, and your beliefs – someone you can wholeheartedly trust,” she explains.
It all seemed too hard, and Lauren began to think that she would never find someone who she could trust with her boys and their individual needs. She drafted many support worker job ads, but could never bring herself to hit send.
Lauren shared her draft job ad with a friend, who immediately connected her to a young woman called Laura, who she thought would be a perfect fit for the boys.
That’s how Lauren first came into contact with Carer Solutions and their Direct Employ service.
Carer Solutions assists families like Lauren’s to set themselves up as formal employers and employ people they may already know. Carer Solutions takes care of all the tricky stuff, giving families all the support they need, to set up and employ their dream support team.
Laura already had experience as a support worker and onboarding her as Archer and Oliver’s support worker marked a pivotal point for Lauren and the whole family.
“It totally eased my mind, having Laura onboard. She is firm but fair, and she is capable of reining the boys back in so that they keep their routine – they just love her,” Lauren explains.
Laura has been a tremendous help to Lauren and has taken the time to get to know their family and build rapport with them. She made it her mission to get to know every aspect of their lives.
“By supporting the boys, she is also supporting me, and it just makes such a positive difference to my day – as well as theirs. I now start my day with a cup of tea and breakfast, instead of battling two little people to get ready for school – the boys just love her,” Lauren says.
Not only does the Direct Employ service provide respite and peace of mind for Lauren, it has also afforded her the freedom to take a three-week holiday to the UK to visit her sister and niece, whom she has not seen for more than three years.
“Never in my wildest dreams could I have ever though that this could even be possible – but with the support of Laura, it totally is,” Lauren beams.
“I encourage other mums to reach out to Carer Solutions and get the help that I now have. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and it is totally life changing.”
To find out more about this unique service, visit the Carer Solutions website or give their friendly team a call on 1300 729 839.
Please note: In principle, the NDIA considers family members as informal support and not employable via the NDIS criteria. People you know beyond family are considered eligible to be employed by you as your support workers. The NDIA states:
“Generally, the NDIA will only fund family members to provide supports in exceptional circumstances. For example, when:
· There is a risk of harm or neglect to the participant;
· There are religious or cultural reasons for funding a family member to provide supports; or
· The participant has strong personal views, for example in relation to their privacy or dignity.”
You can read the NDIA’s full official statement on the NDIS website here