Succeed on Your First Shift: Meeting New Clients

Tips for support workers!

Starting with a new client as a support worker can be exciting and challenging. Here are some valuable tips for your first day to ensure a smooth transition and build a strong foundation.


1. Prepare in Advance


Before your first meeting, review the client’s care plan and any available background information. Understand their needs, preferences, and any specific conditions they may have. This preparation will help you approach the day with confidence and competence.


2. Arrive on Time


Punctuality is crucial. Arriving on time shows respect for the client’s schedule and establishes you as a reliable and dependable support worker. It also sets a positive tone for your professional relationship.


3. Introduce Yourself Clearly


Begin with a warm and friendly introduction. Clearly state your name, role, and the purpose of your visit. This helps build trust and eases any anxiety the client may have about meeting a new support worker.


4. Listen and Communicate


Active listening is key to understanding your client’s needs and preferences. Ask open-ended questions and encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings. Effective communication fosters trust and ensures you provide the best possible care.


5. Respect Their Space and Preferences


Be mindful of the client’s personal space and routines. Ask for permission before moving or using their belongings. Respecting their preferences and home environment helps build a comfortable and trusting relationship.


6. Be Patient and Adaptable


Every client is unique, and it may take time to understand their specific needs and preferences. Be patient and adaptable, and show empathy as you navigate your first day. Flexibility is key to providing personalized and effective support.


7. Document and Reflect


At the end of the day, take time to document your observations and any significant interactions. Reflect on what went well and identify areas for improvement. This practice will help you continually enhance your approach to care.


8. Seek Feedback


Encourage the client to provide feedback on your service. Constructive feedback is invaluable for your professional growth and helps ensure the client’s needs are met effectively.

By following these tips, you can create a positive first impression and establish a strong foundation for your ongoing relationship with the client.





inLife. “Love Your Support Work: Tips for Starting a Shift with a New Client.” Retrieved from inLife Website

Sero Institute. “CHC33021 Certificate III in Individual Support.” Retrieved from Sero Institute Website

Australian Government. “Quality Standards.” Retrieved from

My Aged Care. “Care Plan Development.” Retrieved from

Australian Patients Association. “Care Plans” Retrieved from

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). “Connecting with participants.” Retrieved from