The power of a Key Worker
Written by Therapy Focus Speech Pathologist, Tania Muscat.
At Therapy Focus we use what’s called a ‘Key Worker model’ when delivering therapy services.
The model ensures that the individuals or families we work with have one main contact at Therapy Focus, but access to a team of clinicians with diverse skill sets and knowledge to achieve the best outcomes. A Key Worker is one therapist within a team, and is responsible for coordinating a client’s therapy services.
What does a Key Worker do?
A Key Worker establishes a relationship with the client, their family and/or carer(s), and supports the development of therapy goals. They keep in regular contact to ensure needs are being met and all stakeholders (team clinicians, general practitioners, other service providers) are kept up-to-date on the progress of goals.
A person in this role empowers clients and their families to engage in therapy and utilise the network of supports around them. They provide information and advice to the client, their family and/or carer(s) on behalf of the broader therapy team, and assist with implementation of strategies that promote learning and development.
The Key Worker model is vital when clients are widely spread geographically, like in the Mandurah/Peel area or the South West for example. To ensure consistent and regular therapy, the Key Worker will collaborate with clinicians in the broader therapy team before and after a visit to discuss and model potential strategies.
As a client’s therapy goals change, therapy teams will explore whether the Key Worker needs to change to best support the client.
“The relationship that forms between a family and a key worker is a dynamic one, characterised by mutual acceptance, respect, trust, commitment, openness and shared responsibility” – Alexander, S., & Forster, J. (2012) The Key Worker: Resources for Early Childhood Intervention Professionals (Ed. 1st), Noah’s Ark Inc: Malvern VIC.
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