• Key Workers

    "They are flexible, adaptive and uniquely understanding. They aim to support and strengthen the families and promote an inclusive community"

  • What is a Key Worker?

     

    The role focuses on five key areas that have been identified as important to families:

     

    1. Emotional support from family, friends and professionals.
    2. Information and advice which enables them to navigate services, understand professional terminology and access resources.
    3. Opportunities to identify and address their needs in parenting a child with a disability.
    4. Support and developing skills in advocating for the needs of their child and family.
    5. Support in service coordination.

    The ‘Transdisciplinary Key Worker' Model

     

    The transdisciplinary key worker' model extends the role of the ECI professional to become both the primary contact for the family and the main person working with the family on extending the child's learning opportunities.

     

    A key component of the transdisciplinary role is that one staff member integrates information and advice from their team and presents it to the family, rather than staff from different disciplines meeting with the family independently.

     

    The use of the family-centred and strengths based approaches remains central to the role.

     

    The transdisciplinary Key Worker role focuses, in addition to those components of the

    Key Worker model, on families having:

    • Holistic family services support plans.
    • Integrated approaches for promoting their child's development as part of daily life or routines.
    • Close working relationships between staff in children's services who work with the child and one ECI professional who knows the child and family well.
    • The opportunity to call in other professional disciplines when required.

    The elements of the Key Worker role are designed to build this relationship and the resources and capacity parents need to enable them to foster their child's learning and development.

     

    The Key Worker tasks are emotional support to help parents feel good about their parenting role and what they can have achieved; information and advice to empower parents to make informed decision and actions; identifying and addressing needs to ensure families have the formal and informal supports and resources they need; advocacy to support parents' capacity to advocate for their child now and into the future; and service coordination to reduce stress, enhance service quality and build parents' capacity to manage the supports they require.

     

    In summary, the Key Worker part of the Transdisciplinary Key Worker role is designed to build family capacity to meet the additional needs of their child now and into the future.

     

    References
     

    The Key Worker

    Resources for the Early Childhood Intervention Professionals (2012) Noah's Ark Inc.