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Receiving Services in a Home Care Package

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After a Care Plan is developed

Once a Care Plan is developed, the case manager will beginn organising the necessary services as agreed to in the care plan.

If you had certain support workers already in place before starting with your package provider and the provider allows it, you may be able to retain these support workers. They will need to meet with certain conditions as required under the Aged Care Act. These conditions may included having an ABN, offering their services to the public in general, having insurances and police checks, where necessary the required qualifications e.g. a Cert III or IV in Agd Care, Infection Prevention Control training etc. The Care List strongly advocates the maintenance of existing support workers where possible. We believe the fewer the disruptions in routine to a client, the better it is for the clients wellbeing.

The Case Manager will contact any existing support workers that you wish to retain and ensure services can continue without disruption, collect their necesssary details for payment of invoices etc.
Where you do not already have a support worker, the case manager will organise a support worker for you. In doing so the case manager may consult with you on certain aspects such as gender preference of the worker, what day of week and time of day is convenient for the support worker to come, whether they are any specific instructions that need to be given the worker to follow etc.

Support worker and your duties

Once the support worker is organised and a routine is setup, the routine will be followed until some change occurs or you request a change. Here are some do's and don'ts in regards to support workers and their duties:
  • Do not vary their duties or routine without consulting with the case manager
  • Do not increase the length of their shift with consulting with the case manager. Their budget is set and hence cannot be varied without agreement
  • If you have an issue with the support worker, for example you are unhappy about some behavious or manner of doing a task, let your case manager know to get it fixed
  • Do not setup a personal relationship with the support worker and above all do not give gifts to them. This could jeopardise their professional record and jeopardise their work
  • Do not ask the support worker to do something that they were not employed to do. The insurance will likely not cover them for tasks outside their agreed range of work. Doing tasks outside this pre-defined range of duties could risk both you and the support worker to financial loss
  • Do treat support workers with respect and courtesy. While they are being paid for their job, they are also entitled to being treated woth courtesy. Verbal abuse and violence may lead to a complaint and your home care agreement being terminated. If you have concerns and issues with your support worker, it is better to discuss this with your case manager who can take the appropriate steps to rectify or replace the support worker
If you are unsure of anything, always consult with your case manager. What are the additional duties and responsibilities of a support worker outside of the duties they were engaged to do for you?
  • The support worker has a responsibility to be observant of changes in the clients health and report changes to the case manager
  • File a report after each shift or a weekly summary report on the dutues performed, any changes noticed in the clients mobility, weight and health
  • Enter in their timesheets after each shift
  • To ensure their required quailifications and training are up to date

Cancellations and changing times and other issues with an organised service

Cancellations

There will be occasions when the routine needs to be changed or a shift needs to be cancelled. Remember that the support worker's times are pre-booked and if these are cancelled or amended without notice we will still be responsible to pay the support worker for an arranged service, whether or not that service went ahead. So, always allow at least 24 hours notice on a business day. If you cancel a service over the weekend for say, a Monday service, this will likely be too late as a cancellation.
Why is the support worker still paid for a cancelled shift? If the shift is cancelled less than 24 hours before the shift is to commence, then the likelihood is the support worker cannot be provided a replacement job as all other clients will already have pre-arranged supports in place. If we cancelled a shift without sufficient notice, the support worker would face a loss of income, hence adequate notice is required in order to not have the package pay for the booked service.

Changing times

To change the time of a shift (such as the day or the hour of the service) usually at least 1 week's notice is required. This will allow time to find a replacement worker in the event your regular support worker is unavailable at the required day/time. Remember you are not the only client that the support worker sees. To earn an adequate living as a support worker, they require several clients, as the budget of a single client is unlikely to meet their living wages and incentivise them to work in the industry.
Also, be aware that if you change times/days you may not receive the same worker as the worker may already have another client on the day/time you want.