How does it work?
Therapy Assistants work under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist. The Occupational Therapist will have previously assessed the client and determined that a Therapy Assistant program will likely lead to efficient use of funding whilst increasing the likelihood that the client will achieve the therapeutic goals. Not all clients will be suited to having a Therapy Assistant skill development program and your Occupational Therapist will be able to explain why. The Occupational Therapist will create a skill development plan detailing how the sessions will run and how often. Therapy Assistants may visit clients weekly, fortnightly, monthly or as often as required. Therapy assistants provide one on one support to individuals in the community or in their home.
Therapy Assistants empower and support clients to increase their skills in goals that have been identified to be important and meaningful by the client. In delegating duties for Therapy Assistants to complete with our clients, our Occupational Therapists have an obligation to ensure that the practice complies with nationally legislated codes, standards and practice guidelines that underpin and ensure the public receive safe and ethical services. The Occupational Therapist supervising the Therapy Assistant retains overall responsibility for the care of the client whilst they participate in the Therapy Assistant program. At no time will our Therapy Assistants complete professional assessments or make clinical decisions regarding client care.
Who are therapy assistants?
Therapy Assistants are WHR Allied Health employees who are also current tertiary students studying to become Occupational Therapists. Therapy Assistants are not students on placement. By exclusively employing Occupational Therapy students, we can be confident that our Therapy Assistants have a developing understanding of the theories and approaches underpinning the interventions provided by our Occupational Therapists. It also ensures that our Therapy Assistants are committed to taking a client centred, ‘facilitating with’ rather than ‘doing for’ approach.
Who do we work with?
Therapy Assistants work with individuals of all ages and with a broad range of disabilities. Within WHR Allied Health, Therapy Assistants primarily support individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Whilst our therapy assistants can work with private clients, this is only offered to existing WHR Allied Health clients where they are also receiving private Occupational Therapy supports. In line with our insurance obligations, no WHR Allied Health Therapy Assistants are able to work under the direction of non WHR Occupational Therapists. We do encourage other service providers to consider employing therapy assistants provided that they have the skills and can offer the required levels of support and supervision.