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Explore some of the roles available

Support work embraces an amazing diversity of roles. While empathy and a practical nature are essential for all of them, the work itself varies a great deal.

Mental Health Support Worker

This is more about providing advice and guidance than personal care. Your job is to help people live as independently as possible. That might involve helping them develop everyday skills like preparing meals or getting to appointments. It could entail organising activities around sports, drama or education. You may have to work in a team alongside social workers, drug action groups, police or health practitioners.

Aged Care and Support Worker

Helping with personal care – be that daily living, hygiene, housework or meal preparation – is certainly part of the job, but there’s more to aged care than that. You might be assisting with outings or activities that enhance people’s physical, emotional and intellectual development. You might have to provide emotional support and companionship. Everything you do is designed to help clients develop skills and abilities that allow them more independence.

Rehabilitation Assistant

In this job you’re working to a programme designed by licensed therapists to help maximise your patients’ mobility and independence. You’ll be explaining therapies and mobility aids to clients, helping them with daily living and working through exercises with them. You’ll maintain records of your clients’ progress and report back to therapists. You’ll be a motivator too, encouraging clients to participate in social and employment opportunities.

Social Service Worker

Your focus is on the resilience and wellbeing of people, their whānau and their community. It often requires you to support people in crisis situations, talking to them about the issues they face. You’ll be able to link with community resources like benefits or accommodation and advise them of their rights and opportunities. Writing reports and case notes can also be part of the job.

Youth Worker

Working with youth involves talking, meeting or hanging out with them and their whānau. You’ll also meet their peers, communities, schools, training providers and employers. You’ll plan, deliver and evaluate programmes and events, provide information and resources and link young people with social services. There’s an admin component too – writing reports, preparing funding applications and managing budgets.

Diversional Therapist

Leisure and recreational activities are important for all sorts of people; young people, the elderly and people with mental illness or forms of disability. Creating and facilitating those activities is the job of a Diversional Therapist. You’ll be able to encourage communication and expression, help them with memory and orientation and use of visual or hand skills. You can supervise events, assess your clients’ progress and discuss results with health professionals and whānau.

Healthcare Assistant

Patients need culturally appropriate care and support and as a Healthcare or Nursing Assistant you can provide that. By monitoring and recording patients’ health and vital signs, you’re able to liaise with other healthcare professionals. You may also be charged with taking care of things like stock and supplies management and replacing linen.

Teacher Aide

Pupils who have particular needs sometimes need help and support in the classroom. Teacher Aides provide that assistance under guidance from the class teacher. You work one-to-one or in small groups, monitoring and recording behaviour and progress to discuss with teachers and parents. Some students may require help with care, toileting or extra activities if the need arises.