Add Another Member to Your Support Team

by | Sep 4, 2019 | Australia, Communication, Top Tips

Prior to a decision about the right live-in carer provider, most host families are apprehensive about whether they can place their trust in someone new. Especially those families who have children with additional needs. Below we’d like to outline some of the concerns we have come across.

Concern #1: How can we trust someone else with our child/ren?

A certain level of trust needs to be established between a host family and a live-in care professional. This starts from that first interview and continues right through matching, until the arrival of your caregiver and beyond. At Apex Professional Exchange we work very closely with both sides to ensure that they are a good match and that trust is established early. 

As all of our program participants are highly skilled professionals, with many hours of childcare experience, we are confident families are able to place their trust in them without any concerns. After a getting-to-know period, families will be able to rely on their caregiver not only for their childcare needs, but will see the benefit in them supporting their children in achieving their goals.

Concern #2: What if things don’t work out between us and our care professional?

If there are difficulties with your care professional, the first step is to speak to them. We recommend clear instructions and setting expectations from the get-go, so that there are no misunderstandings. Successful host family and care professional relationships are based on mutual trust and open communication. We recommend setting a weekly meeting to review the previous week and look ahead to the following week. 

If you cannot sort things out, your area director is always available to help. They may have suggestions that you have not thought of because they may have dealt with a similar situation in the past. As a last resort, if the situation cannot be resolved, we would look at the option of matching you up with a different care professional.

Concern #3: Will the care professional be able to work with the child’s special needs and contribute to therapy?

Most of our care professionals have more than 2,000 hours of childcare experience, and come from a range of professions including: occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech therapists, special needs care providers. They will have implemented therapy programs during their training and as established therapists. They can be classed as therapy assistants or support workers in Australia, and will be able to work closely with existing therapy teams and specialists. 

Concern #4: Won’t we lose our privacy with someone living in our house?

This concern is raised by many host families. It does take some getting used to, and parents may benefit from having more regular date nights, for example, to give themselves more privacy. However, host families will hopefully also form a great relationship with their care professional who is intended to become part of the family.

Most families find that the help they receive from their live-in carer makes up for the inconvenience of having an additional person in the house.

Concern #5: Having only met via Skype/WhatsApp

Parents can understandably be concerned about having someone who they have never met in person, live with them and care for their children. But with a thorough matching and interviewing process, parents can feel safe in their choice of care professional.

We encourage you to stay in regular contact with a caregiver even after you have matched, to ensure that you build on the relationship you have started during the interviewing process. It might take a little while to get used to each other once the care professional arrives, but open communication will ensure the start of a good relationship and often even a friendship.

Ultimately, it all comes down to clear, open communication and setting expectations. Welcoming a care professional who will be able to complete therapy homework and add her skills and experience to her daily routine with your child will mean you can do what you do best: be a parent!