Stephanie Swain: Direct Support Worker - Local 178
My favourite part of my job is seeing the people I support become more and more confident and independent.
Stephanie Swain is a Direct Support Worker in the Community Residential Program at St. Amant, and has been employed there for over 14 years.
She works with individuals who have intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, assisting them with their daily needs as they live in their own home in a Winnipeg community (as opposed to an institution).
Specifically, she supports the individuals she works with so that they can lead as full and independent lives as they desire. This is done through encouraging people to maintain the skills they already have; learning and/or building further life skills; assisting in areas where they require or want assistance; and advocating for them and helping them to advocate for themselves, especially with regard to things such as having their voices heard and having barriers removed.
Stephanie’s daily work can consist of anything from preparing meals; helping with personal care; assisting with budgeting; listening to the concerns of those she helps about something that happened at their workplace that day; supporting and encouraging them to make connections in their community; assisting in communication; or just getting out of the way so the person can do their own thing.
Stephanie is also very involved in her union, serving as Chief Steward of Local 178, as well as sitting on the Bargaining Committee. She is also the Director of the Community Based Social Services (CBSS) Component, and therefore a member of the MGEU’s Board of Directors. She also chairs the Young Members' Committee and attends Area Council. She enjoys being involved in union work because it gives her a broader picture of things, while remaining in her day-to-day role in community services.