Support Workers MOU & Briefing Procedure and Policy

What is Knights of the Shed (KOTS)?

Knights of the Shed empowers youth and young adults to develop social skills and wellbeing through engaging programs and expert support, including:

  • Therapy Supports
  • Early Childhood Supports
  • Specialist Behaviour Intervention

How can support workers help KOTS staff to maximise positive outcomes for mutual clients?


  • Modelling trust and rapport
  • Easing anxiety
  • Providing positive reinforcement
  • Encouraging independence with achievable tasks
  • Gradual release of responsibility 


  • Follow reasonable requests from KOTS staff with regard to procedures and policies
  • Co-regulate in the small group as appropriate
  • Co-regulate in designated lounge area as appropriate
  • Co-regulate outside the therapy space as appropriate
  • Leave the session and communicate with staff at later date

Positive Behaviour support:

  • Ensure any Behaviour Support Plans have been shared and discuss any thing that may need to be considered in order to best implement the behaviour support plan when in the therapy space 
  • KOTS staff will not implement behaviour support strategies that include restrictive practices

Roles at Knight of the Shed (please check our wall for photos and bios)

Volunteers – unpaid staff who provide support based on their skill set to assist the smooth running of the program.

Therapy Assistants – assist with delivering therapy programs and activities and provide personalised support to participants.  TAs build rapport and trust with their participants and encourage participation and engagement.  They  maintain accurate records and documentation (case notes) and engage in ongoing professional development. TAs depend upon the additional regulation and trust that a support worker can bring to the small group to enhance participation and engagement for the mutual client.  They depend on the support worker for additional duty of care and recognising signs of escalation prior to it occurring.  

Social Skills Instructors – have Duty of Care for the participants, Knights of the Shed Staff and visitors in the program space.  They provide direction to therapy assistants, volunteers and visitors to maintain a safe and inclusive learning environment.  They work with participants individually and in groups to help achieve participant personal-social goals and resolve conflict. Social skills instructors depend upon the additional Duty of Care that support workers have for the safety and wellbeing of their client and the impact of their client’s behaviour on the safety and wellbeing of other participants.

Program Manager – responsible for monitoring the delivery and evaluation of all social skills programs, communications to key stakeholders, risk management and reporting. The Program Manager must approve the client’s return to KOTS following an incident report. 

Program Psychologist – responsible for delivering professional learning and training to all  Knights of the Shed staff regarding the psychological framework of all social skills programs and evidence-based resources to support learning and development.  Paul provides consultation to participants, staff and parents and writes summaries and recommendations for participant reports.  

Dos and Don’ts:


  • be a reassuring presence for the participant and moderate your level of physical and/or social distance to allow the participant to develop their skills as independently and as safely as possible.  
  • only remain sitting with the small group for as long as it takes for the participant to feel comfortable without you.  Role model socially expected behaviours at all times.  Help the participant to take an interest in what is happening. 
  • If sitting a distance from the young person, consider whether you may need to maintain line of sight. 
  • Remain onsite for the duration of the programs while the participant is present unless otherwise determined by the participant or their advocate.
  • Use your discretion to leave the program space if the participant would benefit from this – please  inform the social skills instructor of your departure.


  • Be ‘another Participant’ in the group (the activity is for them, by all means convey professional enthusiasm)
  • Do for the participant what they are capable of doing for themselves
  • Discuss the participant’s diagnoses or other private information 
  • Suggest that the participant leaves prior to the end of the session unless there is a concern around regulation or safety – some participants are working on their perseverance/tolerance/sustained focus – some would just prefer to “skip” the formal small group feedback at the end of each session – all participants are expected to remain unless their is an early departure agreement.
  • Interact with support animals whilst they are on duty

Working with Vulnerable People Cards:

At Knights of the Shed, we prioritise the safety and well-being of all participants in our social skills programs. This includes ensuring a secure environment where children and young people feel comfortable and protected. One way we achieve this is by requiring anyone accompanying a child or client in the small group – parents, carers, or support workers – to hold a current Working With Vulnerable People (WWVP) card which we scan and check for safety purposes.

Did you know?  Knights of the Shed staff are frequently asked to report observations about Support Worker effectiveness in the program space to parents, Carers and Service Providers.  Support Workers who are unable to work within our guidelines as described above may necessitate a conversation between the KOTS manager and the manager of the support worker’s organisation.