The power of a Key Worker

By Tania Muscat

Senior Speech Pathologist

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 therapists 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 customer’s therapy services.

What does a Key Worker do?

A Key Worker establishes a relationship with the customer, their family and/or support network(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, and other service providers) are kept up-to-date on the progress of goals.

A person in this role empowers customers and their families to engage in therapy and make use of the network of support around them. They provide information and advice to the customer, their family and/or support network(s) on behalf of the broader therapy team, and help with the implementation of strategies that promote learning and development.

The Key Worker model is vital when customers 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 join forces with other therapists in the broader therapy team before and after a visit to discuss and model potential strategies.

As a customer’s therapy goals change, therapy teams will explore whether the Key Worker needs to change to best support the customer.

A young man stands in a Lite Gait on a treadmill. He stands behind a circular foam pillar and holds a volley ball. His mum stands next to him cheering. They are joined by their physiotherapist who is clapping and sitting on a stool.

Renae Moffat (L), Joshua Moffat and Clinical Lead Physiotherapy, Dan Prigmore (R).

“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., and Forster, J. (2012) The Key Worker: Resources for Early Childhood Intervention Professionals (Ed. 1st), Noah’s Ark Inc: Malvern VIC.

How we work

Discover how we work to ensure the best outcomes for the individuals and families we work with.