When he’s not embracing the happy chaos of being an active dad to two young boys, Alvin loves working in his role as a support coordinator for Home Caring clients. It’s a role that suits him to the ground, thanks to his knack for planning ahead and years of experience providing therapy for children with autism.
We recently sat down with Alvin for a quick Q&A about his role.
Firstly, what does a support coordinator do?
A support coordinator takes responsibility for a person’s care as a whole. We organise their support workers, allied health care professionals and services (for example, domestic assistance, personal care, how they can get out in the community). Essentially, we make sure their whole plan supports them in the best possible way.
What do you find interesting about your job?
Being a support coordinator involves a lot of thinking and planning, which is why I find it so interesting. You really have to put your mind to it; to understand each individual’s case and the complexity of the family. Everything needs to work together to provide the best support.
For each of my clients, I sit down, look at the person’s funding as a whole and think, “What does this person need? How can we get the best outcome? If a person has complex needs and requires different allied health professionals, who do we need to give priority to? What if things go wrong? How can I build resilience in this plan?” I see myself as representing the family. It’s satisfying to know that I’m actually helping someone.
You are incredibly multilingual and speak English, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Mandarin! How does this help you in your role?
When I started in my role, I slowly got referrals from people in the Vietnamese community. It can be hard for parents when their kids have a plan and they don’t speak English. Communication is really important, and it helps to have someone who can speak your native language. It also helps to have high levels of what we call ‘emotional intelligence’ or EQ.
“I always try to put myself in my client’s shoes and see things from their perspective”
What are the personal rewards of being a support coordinator?
I believe that when you help people find solutions to life’s difficulties, you get an opportunity to learn and grow as a person. And because I’m a planner, I’m always looking to gain knowledge as the more you know, the more you can see ahead. To me, both on a professional and personal level, that’s really important.
Finally, why do you choose to work for Home Caring?
Home Caring gives me a lot of freedom in the way I work, so I can be very flexible. I might have a plan, but then get a phone call which pushes everything back. I know larger organisations can have a rigid schedule that you need to stick to, regardless of what crisis is coming up. Here we don’t have that, which allows me to be more effective.