This position requires a high degree of understanding and commitment to the individual residents of the home and to the philosophy of Gateway. It calls for competence in a wide range of areas, including home making and household and individual planning; sensitivity to all aspects of the lives of the household is essential. Support workers must have the ability to live in situations of potentially high stress with the maturity to absorb tension and to live with occasional conflict, assuming responsibility for themselves and their own feelings. They should have the desire and the capacity to enhance the development of personal relationships and community supports. Most of all, they should recognize that the most important aspect of the being-with attitude, as opposed to the doing-for, is that of building relationships and that this challenges and enriches all staff in their personal growth just as it does the members of the household. Staff should enjoy being with and working with people who have developmental disabilities, believing that they have an important contribution to make to society and that they can enrich the lives of others.
Specific responsibilities are carried out under the direction of the House Supervisor and, for part time/casual support workers, with guidance from permanent staff, as necessary and appropriate.
A. Support of the individual:
- 1. Works to provide a comfortable, supportive home which can foster the growth of personal and community life and where the wishes of the householders are respected. Under the direction of the House Supervisor, ensures that the life of the home is oriented towards the self-esteem, growth and participation of those who live there. This includes a practical response to the physical, emotional, social, cultural and spiritual needs of each person, a willingness to support that person only in so far as support is necessary and to do this by building on existing strengths and gifts.
- 2. Recognizes the particular role of families, friends and advocates both in the operation of the home and in the lives of the people who live there, actively encouraging supportive relationships with them and informing them, when appropriate, as to the welfare of the individuals.
- 3. Assists, teaches, monitors in the following areas, and acts as a role-model, where appropriate.
- All meal planning, food preparation, grocery shopping
- House and yard maintenance
- Time management and personal routines
- Individual hygiene and grooming, including appropriate dress
- Care of clothing, including laundry and repairs
- 4. Encourages decision-making by helping the individuals look at alternative and anticipate consequences. Provides opportunities for them to exercise choice in all areas of their lives.
- 5. Is aware of and sensitive to the ongoing health needs of the residents. Assists with the acquisition, storage, charting and distribution of medications. Recognizes the necessity to take immediate action, obtain medical advice, and report to the Supervisor where a situation may warrant this. Assists individuals in attending health-related appointments and therapies.
- 6. Is especially sensitive to the level of stress in the lives of each individual and is responsible for informing the Supervisor when any additional supports or services might be needed. Cooperates in implementing any recommendations made to better support the individuals.
- 7. Helps ensure that each person attains maximum levels of proficiency in communication, and that opportunities exist to practice these skills frequently and in a variety of social environments. Under the direction of the Supervisor will implement any therapeutic or educational services which may be required.
- 8. Recognizes the importance of, and actively promotes, cooperation and teamwork among the house staff to better support the householders.
- 9. Works harmoniously and professionally with all Gateway staff with due regard for respect and confidentiality and, when difficulties arise, problem-solves through the guidelines as set down in the Policies and Procedures manual.
- 10. Recognizes and accepts that when on duty it is not always possible to leave until a replacement has arrived, even if this means that the shift is unexpectedly prolonged.
B. Administrative Tasks:
- 1. Keeps all records as required with due regard to respect and confidentiality.
- 2. Attends house meetings, planning and other sessions including in-services and training events, as requested.
C. Other Responsibilities:
- 1. Must work in compliance with the Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act.
- 2. Takes responsibility for all other related duties as necessary.