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Support Worker, Newcastle, Co Down, NI

If you are passionate about supporting people with learning difficulties or an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) and want to assist us to deliver our Core Values, then we want to hear from you.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Support workers are required to work within the mission and values of AI and the aims and objectives of the service.  Support workers should promote service user independence by providing service users with support, advice and assistance when necessary. They should be sensitive and responsive and will consult and involve service users in all areas relating to their individual lives, assisting the service user to reach their full potential.  The privacy, confidentiality, rights and responsibilities of the service users will be upheld at all times.  Support workers are required to work within AI polices, practices and procedures, codes of practice and all legislative and regulatory requirements, including RQIA and Supporting People standards at all times.

Person Centred Support

  • Develop and maintain a trusting and professional relationship with Service Users and act in a supportive and empathetic manner towards them.
  • Specifically take account of the choices, needs and wishes of each service user, involving service users in their own plans and day to day decisions.  Ensuring service user needs are considered at all times, taking into consideration their autism and any other sensory, physical or learning disabilities, including personal care. 
  • Display compassion and sensitivity to service users and next of kin needs.
  • Together with service users and members of the staff team, assess, plan, implement and evaluate individual plans in order to enhance and maximise the capabilities and independence of the service users and participate in reviews when required.
  • Take personal responsibility for learning about each service user and the way autism affects them; for ‘listening’ to the individual; and for reflecting on own practice to continuously develop their own knowledge and skills.
  • Take responsibility to develop skills in autism practice and to work within the Autism Initiatives Way.
  • Ensure communication with service users is appropriate and relevant to the individual and be committed to supporting the service users to develop their communication skills.
  • As far as possible, ensure that service users and their families are involved and informed about aspects of their life within the home and local community.
  • Liaise with external professionals as advised by management.
  • Understanding the importance of a service user’s working file and plans, and using these effectively and professionally to inform practice on a daily basis. 
  • Develop person centred working relationships with service users, carrying out key worker / shift leader responsibilities in a professional manner and to deputise in the absence of the senior/team leader if required.

Positive Behaviour Support (PBS)

  • Adhering to all safeguarding requirements and any procedures aimed at the protection of service users.
  • Full participation in PBS training and refresher training provided by AI.
  • Using ‘Positive Intervention Support Planning’ to support service users in managing their own challenging behaviours in accordance with service user care/support plans.
  • Assist in planning and pursing agreed strategies to support and alleviate behaviour that presents challenge within the service.
  • Supporting colleagues in difficult or potentially difficult situations within the workplace.  
  • Report any incidents/concerns to management without delay in accordance with procedure.

Daily Living Support

  • Supporting to make appropriate choices regarding service user nutritional needs.
  • To order, store and administer medication in accordance with service users’ needs and their Kardex, whilst complying with AI’s medication policy and procedures.
  • Accompanying service users to the dentist, doctor, hairdresser, and other appointments as appropriate.
  • Undertake duties such as laundry, shopping, cleaning and cooking as required and support service users to be included in these tasks as appropriate.
  • Reporting to managers any concerns regarding the service user’s welfare including health and safety issues and or safeguarding concerns and ensuring the service users environment is safe and responsive to individual needs.
  • To monitor the health and well-being of the service users in liaison with other relevant professionals and keep required records of this.
  • Assisting service users to develop and maintain a high standard of personal hygiene and appearance.
  • Supporting service users in their basic care needs such as bathing, dressing, shaving, toileting and assisting them to learn self-care and with direct support where required.
  • Actively encouraging and supporting leisure and meaningful activities both inside and outside of the home, in accordance with individual service user’s interests, choices, needs and care/support plans.  This may include going swimming or going for walks etc.  
  • Accompanying service users on trips and holidays away when required.
  • Ensuring the home environment is secure, clean and well presented, undertaking domestic chores and relevant checks as necessary.
  • To handle petty cash/service user monies according to AI policies and procedures.  Ensure accurate records/receipts and returns are kept and recorded in respect of finances.
  • Raise any concerns regarding service user’s finances to management without delay.
  • Recording accurately and professionally in line with national standards, Autism Initiatives requirements and the Five Point Star approach and keep appropriate records on all matters relating to the operation of the home.
  • Ensure that personal belongings of service users are treated with respect.
  • Where relevant and following a referral, to support a service user through transition and assist service users to settle in their new home and to assess their skills and needs as appropriate.

Health and Safety

  • Maintain records of untoward incidents, accidents and near misses for service users and employees in accordance with company policies and procedures and report any maintenance requirements.
  • Report accidents or near misses in the workplace to your manager without delay.
  • Wear PPE (Protective Personal Equipment) if provided by AI.


  • Ensure that transport requirements are assessed and available to meet the needs of service users.
  • Undertake driving duties, if required by team leader/senior, to support service user’s access their local community. 
  • Complete annual drivers audit and provide up to date copies of your full driving licence as required.

Training and Development

  • Attending and actively participating in all meetings and training as required, including own supervisions, appraisals, new employee assessments and team meetings etc.
  • Working with managers to identify needs and access relevant learning and development opportunities and share that learning with others.
  • Assisting in the induction / training of new staff as required. 


  • Working as part of a team, sharing responsibility fairly and being supportive of others, promoting a team approach and being courteous to all team members and visitors.
  • Promoting a non-discriminatory harmonious working environment at all times.
  • Maintain service user/colleague/company confidentiality at all times.
  • Register with NISCC within the first month of employment and be fully registered with NISCC before the end of the six month probation period and a copy of this certificate sent to the HR department.  Take responsibility for maintaining this registration, including annual fees and work within the NISCC code of Practice at all times.
  • Be available to cover leave as required, including sickness and annual leave.
  • To provide written reports to your line manager as required.
  • Project a positive image and reputation of Autism Initiatives in your dealings with internal and external stakeholders and the public.  Ensure, by your actions, the on-going confidence of the public by not bringing the organisation into disrepute.
  • Any other duties as reasonably requested.   

It is the nature of the work of the post that tasks and responsibilities are, in many circumstances, unpredictable and varied. The post holder will therefore be expected to work in a flexible way when the occasion arises that tasks which are not specifically covered in their job description, have to be undertaken.

These additional duties will normally be to cover unforeseen circumstances or changes in work and they will normally be compatible with the regular type of work. 

The job description may also be reviewed in light of changing service, or service user needs, developments in the Company, or due to legislative or regulatory requirements or in consultation with the post holder.

This job description is not definitive and may vary.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting employers!