The best care possible
Camosun alumna Amber Woodworth
Amber Woodworth knew early on that she wanted to work with people with disabilities. Growing up with a cousin with Down syndrome motivated Amber to support others with similar challenges, so she enrolled in Camosun’s Community Support and Education Assistant program.
Amber was impressed with the program’s variety and depth of course content. “We studied everything from complex health needs to advocacy and client rights,” she explains.
In 2006, Amber graduated from Camosun and started working at the Garth Homer Society, which provides support to adults with developmental disabilities. She felt she belonged there from the start. As a 21-year-old, she thought it was great that she got paid to build relationships with people.
But her job became so much more than that—she realized she is part of someone’s life, and with that comes responsibility. “A good care worker must be skilled at communicating, flexible, enthusiastic, patient, and understanding,” she says. “They must be a strong leader, yet open and approachable, and they must be able to provide support for diverse clients. These are all things I learned to appreciate while at Camosun.”
Twelve years later, Amber is in a leadership role as Assistant Manager of Client Services. “Everyone has a right to life, a home, and a place in the world,” she says. “And people with significant health and behavioural issues have a right to service.”
Amber and her colleagues work tirelessly to provide this. “Every client is unique,” Amber shares. “At Garth Homer, we don’t try to alter that. Instead we embrace every client’s special qualities.”
One of the most valuable skills Amber has learned on the job is how to be part of a collaborative team. While she was at Camosun, her instructors had facilitated group discussions and projects with her classmates. She thinks about how helpful it would have been to work together with students from other disciplines. This is the promise of the new Alex & Jo Campbell Centre for Health and Wellness.