Meet the Team: Kadina Fillmore - Support Worker
Have you met Kadina Filmore? If you have, chances are that she’s greeted you with a huge smile, a hug, a burst of laughter, and a warm cuppa of tea. She’s the team leader at one of our rental supported independent living properties in Medindie. Kadina, a qualified support worker, has only been with sacare since 2017 and is someone who lives and breathes sacare's values, in particular the people she supports have become the centre of everything that she does. Kadina’s vibrant energy and compassionate nature instantly makes anyone feel at home. We asked her a few questions about what her journey has been like with sacare and what she finds most challenging and rewarding about being a support worker.
Why did you decide to work in the disability sector?
If I’m being 100% honest, I never wanted to work in the disability sector. I was very passionate about working with the elderly, helping maintain their ability to stay in their own homes for as long as possible and I thought that that was what I would do for the rest of my working life. When applying for work, I saw the sacare advert and the fact that it was community based, I thought “Why not!”. I guess when I thought about disability, I never imagined that word included those that had had brain or spinal accidents, diseases such as Huntington’s and Parkinson’s, people who have had complex strokes and more. In saying all this, making the choice to apply to work at sacare has been the best decision I’ve ever made, and I really couldn’t see myself doing anything else. For me, I have found what I’m supposed to do.
What has your journey looked like whilst working at sacare and what do you do now?
My journey at sacare began as a support worker at one of sacare's accommodation in Kingswood, Briarholm. I spent almost a year at Briarholm working with high care clients and when one of those clients was transferred to our Magill facility, I was involved in their transition. It wasn’t long before I was working more at Magill than Kingswood. While at Magill, I took on more and more responsibility within the team and was recognised as a senior staff member there. At the beginning of this year, I was offered a place in sacare’s leadership training programme which I accepted. I completed the training programme and in June I was approached by management to take on a mentoring role at one of sacare’s community houses in Medindie. We have a client there with Huntington’s and they wanted my experience with the disease and the challenges that come with it to help lead and train the team working there. Initially the role was for 6 weeks, that was 5 months ago. I never in a million years thought I could leave Magill, the amazing residents and the strong team I was a part of, but a month ago I was offered the position of Team Leader here at Medindie and I accepted without question. I love my new role, my new clients and my new team and I’ve learnt that you can make a difference working in the disability sector and especially here at sacare regardless of where you are located.
What have been some of the most challenging and rewarding moments you've experienced?
The most challenging moments have been dealing with the behavioural side that comes with disability. Seeing someone “snap” because of their brain injury for example can be scary and confronting and at times you are at a loss as to how you could possibly care for them. In saying that, it is the challenging moments that allow you to really see who you are and what you are capable of and forces you to really think outside the square in terms of supporting that person in the future.
The rewarding part of my job would have to be the relationships I have made with both clients and staff. It is an honour to be able to care for someone
when they are at their most vulnerable and to become a part of “their” world. Getting to know their families and friends and building relationships
that really allow you to understand the person you are caring for. I have also worked with some amazing support workers who have taught me so much,
not just about the work we do but about myself too. To work as part of a team is the greatest feeling and makes coming to work so much easier.
In your opinion, what makes a great support worker?
In my opinion, you must love and be passionate about what you do. It isn’t enough to just show up. I have a very client centred approach about how I work, and it is the reason I get up every day and do what I do. Yes, manual handling and personal care are important aspects of what we do but being able to understand your client and relate to them on a personal level is far more important and valuable. If I leave work at the end of the day knowing I made someone smile or laugh or feel like they are loved and cared for then I have done my job well.
Favourite quote that you live by?
You can’t fix what you don’t know.
If you are a support worker and would like to work with SACARE and be part of a team like Kadina’s, apply here.
If you are caring for an individual living with a complex disability or an NDIS participant and would like to learn more about SACARE’s in-home care and supported independent living. Click here.