Cire celebrates sustainable living at Ecotopia

Ecotopia, ECOSS’s annual community festival celebrating sustainable living and multiculturalism, was held on Sunday 24th March.

Ecotopia is a celebration of sustainable living in the Yarra Valley and a major yearly event for ECOSS, a not-for-profit organisation based in Wesburn which is situated on a permaculture designed property promoting sustainable living solutions for the Yarra Valley community and beyond.

Cire Services, who is a major sponsor of Ecotopia, was invited to participate, giving us the opportunity to advertise our new direction for our dedicated Community Hub – Yarra Junction, after the move of our head office and training department to Lilydale, and showcase the great ways we plan to grow and support our community.

Cire has recently made the decision to utilise its location in Yarra Junction as a Community Hub.

We aim to strengthen the grassroots of our organisation, which started over 40 years ago, by giving locals easy access to our services in Yarra Junction, and help people to get involved and have local input and knowledge.

“I’m really looking forward to growing the Yarra Junction Community Hub and helping to facilitate community ownership and participation. This space is here for the community, and our team have a holistic view of bringing the community together and being proud of the town we call home.” Simone Whitehead, Community Hub coordinator

Our Yarra Junction Community Hub coordinators, Simone and Penny, started the day at Ecotopia setting up an approachable space for people to come and see what our Hubs and the broader Cire community have to offer.

Eliza, Cire’s Early Childhood Education and Care trainer, was keen to help and enlisted the support of some of her Certificate III students to set up an activity to engage families and children through playdough activity tables.

“I was very impressed with my students who contributed their time to participate in a hands-on learning activity. The students made playdough in one of our classes, set up the activity area and interacted with families.” Eliza Lee, Early Childhood trainer

Also on offer was a flag making table where visitors could come and paint their own flag in colours, patterns and symbols that resonated with them.

Cire Community Hub was proud to be a part of an event that celebrated sustainable living in the Yarra Valley and look forward to next years.

If you didn’t get the chance to say hello to us at Ecotopia and would like to know what is happening, are interested in running a course, or hiring out space, please drop into Cire Community Hub – Yarra Junction and introduce yourself to our coordinators, Penny and Simone or contact 1300 835 235.

If you’re lucky, they might even make you a cuppa!

Cire scoops two awards for Mount Evelyn garden

Cire’s Community Garden at Mount Evelyn has starred in the 2018 Victorian Schools Garden Awards (VSGA).

It topped its category for the most engaging school garden, awarded by Catholic Education Melbourne, as well as winning the secondary schools section for North Eastern – Regional.

The dual awards are a testimony to the hard work and creativeness of staff and students as well as highlighting the flexible and quality learning opportunities Cire provides people of all ages.

The VSGA recognises the importance and value of gardens and outdoor spaces in progressive modern education. Established by Paul Crowe OAM and the late Kevin Heinze in 1977, the program helps promote the joy of gardens and gardening to school-aged children.

‘VSGA is a great way for us to showcase the types of flexible learning opportunities that Cire provides people of all ages, including our students. We are very proud of our awards, particularly because they publicly acknowledge what we have accomplished and aspire to achieve in the future.’Said Anna-Louise Allen, Executive Manager Education and Training, Cire

Revitalised from a previously neglected community space, Cire’s garden at the Mount Evelyn is a well-organised hub of activity for hands-on learning and engagement for students from the school, Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and kindergarten. As part of our paddock-to-plate program, our VCAL students use the produce to create deliciously healthy meals in cooking class.Cire-Community-Garden Award

It is a constant work/creation-in-progress with the change of each season and the ongoing input from different waves of students who are constantly thinking of improvements/new initiatives.

In addition to the lush range of produce and the resident chickens, there is a focus on sustainability with a water tank and composting, as well the resourceful reuse and recycling of most of the materials used.

We have great plans for the future with a focus on creating a sanctuary for students to connect with nature, their health and wellbeing; a safe space for animals, and a green and productive area. The garden also facilitates greater connection with the wider community through the availability of surplus produce and volunteer assistance.

Recent achievements include:

  • Resource Smart School accreditation with Cire setting an ambitious goal to gain our first two stars including one for waste management. The Vasili's Garden MagazineVictorian Government initiative assists schools to embed sustainability in everything they do, encourages real-life sustainability learning and helps schools save money.
  • Our garden has been featured in the nationally-distributed Vasili’s Garden magazine which promotes healthy and sustainable lifestyles

If you would like further information on our Community Garden please call 1300 835 235.

Pictured: Award-winning Cire gardeners, from left, Hannah, Luke and Rohnan with
Maria Minto- Cahill from Catholic Education Melbourne.

Pictured: with Paul Crowe OAM, VSGA co-Founder and Patron, are award-winning Cire gardeners, from left, students Hannah, Rohnan, Luke and Cire trainer Jill Dowling and teacher Ebony Mackay.


Bringing your story to life

Want a Life Writing tip to get you started with writing a piece of your own history? Life Writing is a style of writing that draws out your unique story and preserves it for you or whoever you choose to share it with. It’s a wonderful way to honour your life and anyone, regardless of their writing skills, can start today.

Every Sunday night we all tuned in to see Molly and his guests

A few weeks ago, I sat down on my couch with a cup of chai tea and flicked on the TV. On came a TV show that immediately flooded me with memories. It only took a few minutes of Classic Countdown for my mind, and my body, to be transported back 34 years to 1984 and my Year 8 classroom at high school.

Flock of Seagulls

Classic 80s pop band Flock of Seagulls

I could taste the cherry lip balm we all carried in the side zip pockets of our striped cotton school dresses. I could smell the cheap supermarket hairspray that all the girls used to slick the sides of their hair back and sculpt their fringes into gravity-defying sweeps. I could even hear the Flock of Seagulls song that inspired such monumental hair dos! On my weekends, dressed in corrugated, overdyed, acid wash denim jeans (with zip ankles!) and a ‘Choose Life’ Tshirt, I felt like I knew all there was to know about life at our

Choose life tee

Classic 80s apparel – Choose Life T-shirt thanks to Wham

local Blue Light Disco in Belmont, Geelong (would you believe we had Cold Chisel and Pseudo Echo play gigs there!). With a studded double wrap around belt, a love for music and a career goal to be the first female synthesiser player in a band (unfortunately I was beaten to that honour by The Eurogliders a loss I may never get over), I was an 80s teenager in every sense of the word.

Why do I share this story? Does it spark memories of your own teenage years? Life Writing provides us with a wonderful way to capture the stories of our life, often with the goal of sharing and connecting with others. Even when we think we don’t remember much of our own lives, or we don’t think our lives have been particularly interesting, there are many ways to fire up the memory bank in our brains and recreate all the moments that make our lives unique.

Just like a TV show that transports us back in time, there are many ways we can trigger the stories that live within us. And that is Life Writing. If you’d like to get started and you’re keen to learn a few tips and techniques to make your writing process easier, in flow and even a little bit fun, take a look at my upcoming 4 week program starting next month at Cire Community House.

I promise I won’t play any 80s music, and there won’t be any hairspray or purple eyeshadow, just some great insights into what I wish I had known when I started to write, a supportive environment of like-minded people, and a touch of inspiration to get your Life Writing ALL FIRED UP! (Whoops, wasn’t that a Pat Benatar song?)

If you would like to know more about this course or wish to enrol call Simone on 5967 1776 or email Life Writing with Lindy Schneider commences Tuesday 15th May at 6.30pm to 9.00pm (4 sessions).

Taking a walk in the shoes of a room leader

My name is Taylor and this year I became a Room Leader. Over the years I have been an Educator at Occasional Care, Outside of School Hours Care and assisted in the 3 year old room. After completing my Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care through Cire in 2017, I am now leader of the Toddler’s Room for 2018. Looking back on my time here at Cire, becoming a Room Leader has been a fantastic experience.
I came into my current position as Room Leader with enthusiasm as well as nerves, stepping up into a higher position and taking on more responsibilities. I am lucky enough to have a great and supportive team around me, who help me each day. Becoming a Room Leader was exciting; I was ready to use my creativity and knowledge that I learnt through studying with Cire Training and ready to apply it all into the curriculum, to foster the children’s learning.
This year, I have found confidence moving into a position that had more responsibilities and I am ready to show what I can do and share my ideas.  When the children build secure attachments and have a sense of belonging they develop a strong sense of identity. It is important to build these attachments and relationships with the children and with their families.
Supporting children to become socially responsible and respectful contributors to our world is very important to me. By way of showing this, I have implemented more sustainable practices into our everyday curriculum, giving children opportunities to become involved in their world such as recycling, gardening and much more.
Fostering natural curiosity and the desire to investigate through play is essential for children to be confident and involved learners. This year we have implemented bush block visits, at least once a week, into our curriculum. The children are enthusiastic about our adventures to the bush block and are always asking when our next adventure will be. While we spend our time in the bush block, the children are able to learn and gain respect for our natural environment, as well as expressing their own wonder, interest and curiosity. The children are able to take considered risks while engaging in play and are able to cope with unexpected changes. We are able to problem solve together and contribute to group outcomes as we explore and engage with each other through play.
Overall, I believe the children are able to use their imagination to create their own experiences, which emerge from their own ideas, in addition to feeling happy, safe and connected to their world. Children that are encouraged to project their ideas and contribute through play become more effective communicators.
In our toddler’s room, we based our curriculum on children’s interests and on their needs, giving the children a voice in their day to day routine while being in care at Cire. We give children choices throughout their day, such as progressive meal times and optional rest times.
I believe it is important to encourage children’s independence by allowing the children to take considered risks through their play. It is also important to openly share their ideas and communicate their needs with trusted educators and peers around them.
We learn through playI have created displays that are located on the walls leading up to our room. The first display is called “We learn through play”. This display is made up of the Early Learning Years Framework, giving families a visual on how we use the framework through our day to day curriculum through the use of photos of the children engaged in the activity.
The benefits of play
We have a display of “The benefits of play” which outlines the benefits of the experiences we set up, explaining what learning the children are doing while engaging in these experiences. This gives our families a chance to understand our curriculum and how each experience has meaning and what learning their child is gaining.
We also have “Our sustainable year”. Our sustainable year project shows our families the monthly calendar we use to highlight our sustainable practices carried out in our day to day curriculum. Through our sustainable practices we develop an understanding and respect for the natural environment and the Our Sustainable Yearinterdependence between people, plants, animals and the land. This gives a chance for families to see and understand more about sustainability and see what we are doing in our curriculum in contributing to sustainable practices.
Overall, becoming a Room Leader has not been as challenging as I first thought, as I came into this year filled with the excitement and nerves. I have a wonderful and supportive team around me who are always willing to give me their help and time to guide me through each day. I am very enthusiastic about continuing to implement different ways of doing and being with the toddlers under my care. They are very curious and have a great desire to investigate and I hope I can continue to foster this learning through a range of experiences.

If you would like to know more about Cire Children’s Services or would like more information on our Early Childhood Education and Care training courses call 1300 825 235.

Pram Walkers – be active and meet new people

Social connection and healthy lifestyles are promoted through Cire Community House’s Pram Walkers group. Pram Walkers is a new activity for Upper Yarra parents to join, which will improve health and fitness, get parents out of the house and into fresh air and provide them with opportunities to meet other community members.

Facilitated by Kate Downward of Fresh Air Health and Fitness, Pram Walkers is a walking group for parents with young children who meet once a week. Through her fitness group, Kate is “dedicated to helping women get fitter and stronger” and providing an opportunity for children to see their parents as healthy role models. As a mother of two, Kate takes this approach with her to Pram Walkers, promoting exercise and healthy lifestyles while understanding the happenings of parenthood.

Pram Walkers is a great way to introduce exercise to busy parents’ lives, as it gives the opportunity for healthy exercise while linking parents to others within their area, creating networks and allowing the possibility for friendships to develop. The group is targeted to parents with children ranging from newborn to preschool age. Parents can bring a pram or a carrier sling to transport their children.

Pram Walkers can provide parents with benefits such as improved physical and mental health through exercise, social support from peers, time to enjoy the beautiful surrounds of the Upper Yarra Valley and the support of an experienced walking facilitator.

What to bring: a pram or a sling to carry children in, water for you and your child, comfortable clothing and walking shoes and sunscreen and a hat in the hotter weather for yourself and your children.

Simone Whitehead – Cire Community House Coordinator

Pram Walkers is held every Wednesday at 9.30am. Participation is by gold coin donation. No booking is necessary. Pram Walkers is currently meeting outside Cire Community House (2463 Warburton Hwy, Yarra Junction), but will be changing locations further into the year to continue exploring the wonderful area we live in. To keep up to date with meeting locations, please follow Cire Services Facebook page and look out for Pram Walkers posts every Tuesday. Alternatively, you can contact Simone at Cire Community House to find out meeting locations or for further information about this group.

Cire Community House has lots of exciting activities planned for 2018. Keep an eye out for our Community House Term One Guide, which will include a range of courses, groups and events.

Nurturing Our Community

The staff and students at Cire Community School Yarra Junction care about the environment, so they have decided to do something about it by becoming a ResourceSmart school.

So what does this actually mean?

Basically, it’s a program designed to improve the way we use our resources at Cire Community School and, through this program, we learn the benefits of being more sustainable. From students through to the teachers and even the wider community, changing the way we use our energy is necessary for our future.

Completion of the core module will initiate our journey as we discover our energy, water and waste usage. We will track our biodiversity, providing students with hands on approaches by learning different ways to come up with sustainable solutions.

Imagine the students creating a community garden space right here in our school grounds. They would be involved right from the start, from planning and design, constructing plant boxes, maintaining gardens and future development of the space. What an accomplishment it would be harvesting for the first time and knowing that all the produce was created in a sustainable environment. There is so much to gain from teaching these skills to our future generations.

So you can see it’s not just a singular idea. It is a comprehensive approach to improving the way our school runs and is a project that we can all get involved with.

As the program expands we hope that the wider community will also see the way our school is advancing towards a nurturing environmental future, also increasing the scope of future programs we can offer to those who really need it, our students.

As we travel along the path to gaining a 5 star energy efficient ResourceSmart school rating, Cire will naturally be more and more environmentally sustainable. We hope the changes create a positive impact on the way that we see sustainability and show the students that a little hard work and dedication can make a massive impact on tomorrow’s future.

We will be posting our progress of our journey to sustainability, so keep your eye out for future posts about what we have achieved and what is on the horizon.

If you would like get involved in creating this wonderful new environment or would like to find out more about our project, you can contact Bernadette Murray, Education Support Officer on 0449 295 344 or contact Cire Community School on 1300 835 235.

For further inforation on Cire Community School click here.


Shooting Hoops set in concrete – Part II

Cire Children’s Centre at Yarra Junction were recently given an opportunity to upgrade the playground area with the addition of a brand new basketball ring and concrete court. This upgrade has given our kids a fantastic space to practice their shooting, dribbling and bouncing skills and as an extra bonus; a fun place to play down ball, hop-scotch and to be creative with chalk drawings.

Cire Children's Services - shooting hoopsThe children were so excited to see this project completed and were quick to make use of the new space. There have been so many benefits in gaining this new court; from safety in the playground to creating new friendships through play, with the older children teaching the younger ones new skills. Providing a safe area for our children to play basketball more effectively and allowing the balls to bounce consistently without rolling off down the hill or becoming covered in mud and getting the kids covered in dirt, not that they minded too much.

Ball games are now played all the time on the flat hard surface free of obstacles such as bumps, rocks and mud. When the children are engaging in a safe game of basketball they are learning life skills such as sharing, perseverance, accepting victory and defeat graciously, becoming a team player and overcoming obstacles. Many of the children come from different schools and this area has encouraged them to play together with the opportunity to form new friendships. They have gained a space that helps them spend their time in the sun in a fun and exciting environment.

We asked the children what they thought of the new space and this is what they had to say…

“I like the concrete better than the mud, because it helps the ball bounce better.” (Sam aged 6)

“I like the new basketball area because it is now easier to bounce the ball. The ball didn’t bounce before and sometimes it would pop because of the rocks on the ground.” (Peter aged 9)

“The concrete is harder than the mud and you can play basketball better .” (Riley aged 8)

The children’s responses show us that they are pleased with the new area. The basketball court has provided a harder, more weather appropriate area that can be played on all year round.

Physical activity is large part of Cire’s outside school hours care program. We encourage children to be active in play and learning. Having this new facility will play a big part in the wellbeing of each child and we would like to thank the Upper Yarra Community Enterprise for their generous donation.

We now all look forward seeing the children engage together, having fun, gaining opportunities to play in their new space.

Shooting Hoops in concrete Part I blog article

For further information all our children’s services click here or you can contact us on 1300 835 235.

Upper Yarra Community Enterprise

Working Together Forum – The best Pho I’ve had all week

Cire Community School students in the Yarra Junction cooking group shone recently at the Cire Working Together Forum where they, along with their teacher, Ian Seppings, catered for 70 staff members, serving a delicious Vietnamese Pho and some healthy finger food.

“Our teacher Ian Seppings, together with students Lachie and Carlie serving on the night, did an amazing job catering for our recent Working Together Forum.  The forum is an opportunity for staff, board and volunteers to all get together and share in what we are up to and contribute to new initiatives.” Gus Seremetis, CEO

In the lead up to the forum, the Yarra Junction cooking group prepared and cooked for the event. The students not only prepped the ingredients for the Pho, they also created samples of food they are cooking for their school projects this year.

One of the projects that the students are undertaking this year is aimed at educating younger children about healthy eating options, which, in partnership with Cire Children’s Services, the students hope to provide the kindergarten children with some fun foods, which are also good for their health.

“It is great to see the work done by the Cire Community School students to prepare the delicious food that we all enjoyed on the night. Lachie and Carlie put in the extra hours to be there on the night, which was outstanding.” Tim Knowles, School Principal

With this as the goal, Cire Community School cooking students created ‘Martian Crackers’, which are made out of cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, rice crackers, hummus and slices of bocconcini. All the ingredients are healthy and nourishing, and when they are ‘built’ to resemble an out of space Martian, eating becomes fun.

So, while staff at the forum sampled Martian Crackers and other tasty morsels, Ian, along with students Lachie and Carlie – who volunteered their time to serve for the evening – got to work organising serving the ingredients of the Vietnamese Pho.

“Commendations to Lachie, who showed true leadership throughout the day in preparing the food, then served throughout the evening. Lachie went above and beyond. Carlie’s help with this event was outstanding. Carlie is not part of the cooking group, but was more than happy to lend a hand on the night and help with serving the food.” Ian Seppings, Teacher

Platters of chicken, vermicelli rice noodles and freshly cut vegetables, herbs and spices were laid out on each of the tables. Then came the demonstration; whilst Ian explained to everyone how to make their Pho, Carlie and Lachie handed out a preserving jar to everyone. These jars were to be the vessels for everyone’s dinner.

The Pho tasted amazing and everyone had a lot of fun slurping out of their jar with chopsticks in hand.

“Ian and our students provided us with the opportunity and learnings on how easy it is to create Vietnamese Pho, a meal that can be prepared and shared around a table with family and friends.  A huge thanks to them for making the session both fun and informative.” Gus Seremetis, CEO

It was fantastic to have the participation of students from Cire Community School in the staff forum.

“Thanks to Ian and his amazing team of students” Tim Knowles, School Principal

Cire Working Together Forums create a space for all staff to come together. People who may not get the opportunity to meet staff from other departments are able to find out what is happening and be kept up to date. Some of the highlights were the People Choice Awards, presenting Ric Butler with a Certificate of Appreciation for his 17 years as our president, Erica German gave an update on the SWEY Project and Robynne Mauger gave us all an overview of what’s ahead for Cire Community House.

If you would like to know more about Cire Community School and the education programs we deliver click here.

It’s official, we now cater for year 7, 8, 9 and 10

Cire Community School (formerly Yarra Valley Community School) has been operating as a registered senior secondary school for the last two years, from our Mt Evelyn and Yarra Junction campuses. We are very pleased to announce that from the start of the 2017 school year, we will be accepting enrolments in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10, in addition to our existing VCAL programs.

The curriculum at Cire Community School is designed to cater specifically for vulnerable students, those who have experienced barriers to completing their education and young people at risk of disengaging with school. We aim to provide a supportive learning environment for each student that builds self-regulatory and relational capacities through a therapeutic approach to teaching and learning that is grounded in the research backed, Berry Street Education Model. The school provides students with a planned and structured program to equip them with the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to complete their schooling and to make a successful transition from school to work, training or further education.

The school creates learning experiences that engage students, while maintaining a strong emphasis on the development of key literacy, numeracy and ICT skills. Integrated units of work and a project based learning approach, provide students with an opportunity to explore their interests and passions and learn more about their community. As a result, teaching and learning resources are varied and often involve creating hands-on experiences through partnerships with the local community and interaction with the natural surroundings.

At Cire Community School we do things differently. All classes from 7 to 12 are modelled on a primary school structure, whereby students have the one classroom and one teacher for the majority of their core study at a particular year level. This enables the development of strong and positive relationships between the teacher and students and between students within the peer group, facilitating a safe and supportive learning environment.

Now with 115 students across two campuses the future looks bright in 2017 as we become a Year 7 to 12 school and continue to explore flexible and innovative ways of engaging the young people of the Yarra Ranges in their learning journeys. Cire would like to thank the community for their feedback and contribution which played a big part in successfully extending the education levels at the Yarra Junction campus.

Need to know more? Year 7 to 9 orientation sessions over the coming weeks for students considering attending our school in 2017. The sessions will be held at our Yarra Junction campus, 39-41 Little Yarra Rd, Yarra Junction. Additional orientation sessions will be held in late January and early February 2017.

The dates and timing of the orientation sessions are as follows:
Monday 12th December 9:30 to 11:30am
Thursday 15th December 9:30 to 11:30am

Parents/carers are encouraged to contact the school on 1300 835 235 for further information and to book into one of the orientation sessions.


A day in the life of an in home carer

Cire In Home Care is committed to supporting people to remain living in their own homes and staying connected to their communities. All staff are trained and qualified and have specialist skills in working with children, people with disabilities, people at the end of their life, dementia care, personal care, food preparation, transport and assisting people who are socially isolated. Our team are able to provide services throughout the Outer Eastern region that are professional, person-centred and cater for the changing needs of the people we service.

The following was written by one of our highly valued team members, Karen Oulten. It provides an insight into the important role support workers have in helping people remain in their own home. Karen has shared her experiences in working as a Cire in home carer.

As a team member of Cire In Home Care, my job is to provide support to seniors, and people with disabilities, in their own homes throughout the Yarra Valley and beyond.

 After studying aged care with Cire Training in 2015 I gained skills and knowledge of the aged care industry a dual Certificate III in Aged Care and Home and Community Care (now known as Certificate III in Individual Support). Once qualified, I was fortunate to gain employment with Cire In Home Care.

Cire in home carers follow organisational policies and procedures developed so we can provide high quality care to ensure our clients remain living safely in their homes, and whilst in our care, out in the community.

Our jobs are allocated by the care coordinator, Deb Wright. We are emailed an information sheet that details tasks and background information about our client. The services, which are tailored to meet a client’s personal needs, are varied. I very much enjoy having such variety in my day to day work.

I may start my day supporting a senior client to get out of bed and safely move to the bathroom, where I shower them, help them dress, do their hair and perhaps apply make-up, if the client is going on an outing.

I may also prepare breakfast for a client and ensure they take their medication. Many clients use a Webster Pack (prepared by a chemist). As a personal carer, my level of training does not allow me to dispense pills or medicine. My responsibility is to watch that a client takes the pills out of the correct day/time compartment of the Webster Pack and swallows them. If I see they’ve missed taking any of the pills, I must immediately report the situation by phone and follow-up email to my care supervisor.

Another situation immediately reportable by phone to my supervisor is NO RESPONSE of a client upon arrival at their home. Cire has a strict policy and procedure to follow if this should occur.

I have an insulin-dependent diabetic client. Due to his vision impairment, my job outline is to correctly set-up the glucometer blood glucose monitor with a test strip. He does a finger prick with a glucolet pen, and then I ensure the blood is applied to the strip to record a blood glucose reading. The reading is stored in the monitor’s memory for referral by the client’s doctor. I write date, time and result in a communication book, for other carers. I then oversee that he dials up the charted dose of insulin which he injects by needle into the stomach and ensure the blood contaminated strip and insulin needle are disposed of in a sharps container.

I worked in customer service for 20 years at Bayer Diagnostics, a company which manufactures blood glucose monitors and test strips, and I was trained in its use. I never would have thought back then that I’d be using this skill as I am now.

Some other tasks and services I might carry out as a carer are:

  • Home cleaning, changing bed linen, washing, ironing
  • Check contents in fridge and cupboards for out of date food, help client prepare a shopping list
  • Meal preparation – breakfast, lunch or dinner, cook meals which could be frozen
  • Transport client to shops, ensuring they remain sturdy on their feet using a walking aid, wheel client around in a wheelchair, help them select healthy food items, carry shopping bags into the house and unpack items into fridge or cupboards. Cire In Home Care has a no cash handling policy for carers; the client must be able to manage their own money.
  • Post hospital support – bed bath or shower client, meal preparation, change bed linen, washing
  • Transport client to medical appointments, or social outings
  • Transport and accompany a young disabled adult to the cinema, shop for clothes, attend a sporting event, an outing to a café
  • Respite – looking after a client, providing company and conversation when a spouse, son or daughter (their carer) has to attend their own appointments, or a social outing. A carer also needs time out and to be cared for.
  • Respite for a parent or grandparent caring for a child with a disability. Providing an extra set of hands to help a parent cope whilst their partner is away, to get other young children fed, bathed and bedtime stories read.
  • Home safety assessments on a first visit to a client’s home, using the Cire Services Home Safety Checklist sheet to identify whether a person’s home complies with Australian OHS standards; that it’s safe and accessible for the support worker to undertake their tasks. It also shows where improvements can be made to make a home safer and more comfortable for the client to remain living there.

I believe an in-home carer’s most important attribute is not just to be task oriented. A friendly and happy disposition sets the tone for time together with a client. I can’t expect clients to be trusting of me and happy to have me in their home if I’m grumpy.

Being intuitive about a client’s wellbeing is also important. I can sense from chatting with them whether they are feeling down, and notice when they appear unwell. Many of our clients may be grieving the death of a partner or other family member and experiencing loneliness. It’s my duty of care, and to follow Cire Policy, to report these changes in a client to the care supervisor.

 I might be a client’s only visitor in their week so I strive to offer them companionship and a listening ear, without judgement. As I’ve built up a closer relationship with a few clients I’ve discovered you can never under estimate the positive effect of a caring hand touch.”

“At the end of a shift I go home feeling I’ve made a client’s day; and this in turn uplifts me.”

Karen is one of many carers we have at Cire In Home Care. If you are interested in studying to become a carer, Cire Training offers Certificate in III Individual Support and we are now taking expressions of interest for 2017 courses. If you would like further information about the services we offer visit our website at click here or call 1300 835 235.