What if I’m a support worker?

Where do I find support to provide good practice?

Support workers (paid supporters) provide direct support to a person with disability. Supporting a person’s decision-making as part of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) is complex and sometimes difficult work. This page tells you where you can find the support you need to do this well.

So when Luke makes decisions for himself, we see a happy Luke, we see a regulated Luke, and most of all we see a Luke who is achieving his goals. And that is what we want, which is why we try and facilitate that ability and try as much as we can.
– Luke’s support worker, Cameron

The behaviour support practitioner

The Behaviour Support practitioner plays a key role in supporting the person with disability and you throughout the PBS process. The Behaviour Support practitioner is responsible for explaining the process of PBS and the key decisions to be made. They will also have accessible information and resources about behaviour support to help you understand the process and what’s involved.

As a support worker, your job is to work with the person to help them make these key decisions and increase their skills in decision-making. It’s important to note that your job as a support worker is different from the job of a decision supporter. The Behaviour Support practitioner and your service provider will discuss any conflict of interest between your role as a support worker and the role of a decision supporter.


If you need help or have any concerns, discuss this with the Behaviour Support practitioner. They can help by:

  • providing additional accessible information about the decisions to be made  
  • suggesting different ways to get the person involved  
  • identifying other potential supporters if needed  
  • advocating for your role as a supporter  
  • discussing additional support that you and the person need from your manager    
  • advising you on where to get help if you have concerns about your role.

Your manager

If you have a manager, they are responsible for supporting you too. Supported decision-making takes time, as you need to build trust and get to know the person you’re supporting well. It’s a good idea to update your manager regularly about supported decision-making processes and progress as part of your usual reporting and communication procedures. Keeping clear records will help you and others understand how the person made their decisions and allow you to reflect on what worked and what didn’t.  

What could you update your manager on?

  • The supported decision activities of each behaviour support decision 
  • Your progress 
  • The time taken 
  • Your thoughts on improving the relational support you are providing. This could include: 
    • having extra time with the person
    • trying a different environment 
    • trying a different time of day
    • any additional skills or knowledge you need for good practice.
  • Help with problem-solving 
  • Concerns about your role
Reflection icon


  • Would you have enough time to do your normal job and support decision making?
  • Who would you ask for help if you needed it? Your employer? Your team leader? Other support workers?

You can also access information and worksheets online to build your knowledge and confidence in supporting decisions on PBS. If you need further support, discuss any issues with your team leader, agency coordinator or the person’s early childhood partner, support coordinator or recovery coach – they should be able to help. 

To find out more about the part your employer or contractor plays in facilitating your role as a supporter during behaviour support, view the following section: My role as a service provider