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Turning Challenges into Care: Louis’ Support Worker Journey

Louis with two clients from Social and Community

Life was hard for Louis growing up. Although very much-loved, his younger brother Liam had severe autism and exhibited behaviours of concern that made daily living a struggle for everyone in the family.

Having a good support worker always made a big difference.

“Growing up with Liam was super tough. It was a very challenging upbringing. But I always remember the days with good support workers. It made me and my mum and dad happy,” says Louis.

“That’s the benefit of good support workers. They make families feel safe, happy and well looked after,” he continues.

Seeing the impact that good support workers made, Louis decided that he wanted to work with people with disability.

Support worker Louis

When Liam moved out of home and into Sylvanvale disability accommodation, Louis approached the site manager to see if there might be any positions available elsewhere at the organisation. Sure enough, there was.

Shortly after, Louis began his career as a Sylvanvale support worker, working across Sylvanvale’s sites. His diverse role included helping people with personal care, looking after people who were having seizures, and supporting people to participate in the community. Since his very first day, Louis has loved what he does and is a strong Sylvanvale advocate.

Louis support worker with client, pointing at fish in tank

Louis’ career took an unexpected path in 2020 when COVID-19 struck. During the first lockdown, he was asked to support individuals with mental health needs and behaviours of concern at one of Sylvanvale’s sites. The experience led Louis to realise his career goals of working with people with the most complex needs.

“I really love working with people with mental health challenges and challenging behaviours. It was part of my life growing up, so I feel like it’s where my strengths lie.”

Proving his commitment, Louis is currently in his final year of a Certificate IV in Mental Health at TAFE. He plans to continue studying by enrolling in a Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs.

Louis has other things he’s passionate about too, including Sylvanvale’s Social and Community program.

“Sylvanvale Social and Community is one of my favourite things. I really believe in it. It’s good for the community, as it teaches them about people with disability. It helps improve the social skills of the people we support and it’s really beautiful seeing them go out and be part of the community.”

Louis with clients from Social and Community

More than anything, Louis loves working with people.

“It’s all about building relationships – whether it’s with the people we support, staff or families,” he says.

“It takes a lot of time to build that trust and feeling of safety. I love creating those strong, professional relationships. I find it very rewarding.”

Do you know someone who wants a rewarding career as a support worker?