Under the NDIS, people living with a disability now have funding for many types of services that support daily living. It’s great to have so much choice out there, but it can also be complicated and overwhelming – especially if you need multiple providers and treatments.
This is where Support Coordinators can help. Here is a quick guide on what Support Coordinators do and how to choose someone who is a good fit for you.
What does a Support Coordinator do?
A Support Coordinat or helps you use your NDIS plan in the most effective way possible. They work with you to find and coordinate service providers that will help you build skills, reach your goals, maintain relationships, live more independently and stay connected in your community.
There are many things a Support Coordinator will do to achieve this with you. They can:
- explain how your NDIS plan works and help you understand what funds are available to you
- support you in making your own decisions about your service providers
- arrange any assessments you need to qualify for funding
- help you find the services you need
- negotiate with your providers on what services they will offer and how much it will cost from your funding
- develop service agreements and bookings
- put you in touch with local places where you can meet people and be active in your community
- write reports to the NDIS about your progress, letting them know what you needand if your funding isn’t right
- work with you to plan your goals and how you can achieve them
- help you work out a budget for each type of support you receive
- coordinate your services providers so they help you meet your goals
At Home Caring, we believe support coordination is ultimately all about you. “For each of my clients,” says Alvin Law, one of our Support Coordinators, “I sit down, look at the person’s funding as a whole and think, ‘what does this person need? How can we get the best outcome? If someone has complex needs and requires different allied health professionals, who do we need to give priority to? How can I build resilience into this plan?’”
What is the benefit of having a Support Coordinator?
You don’t need to use a Support Coordinator under the NDIS, but there are benefits to engaging someone you trust.
A good Support Coordinator can help you optimise your NDIS funding and make sure you get the most value out of your plan. They can also help you make decisions over the services you receive, so you get the support you want.
“When I work as a Support Coordinator, it’s about capacity building,” says Home Caring Support Coordinator Nicki Martin. “I look at the person’s goals and how they want to achieve them, then link them to the appropriate service. It’s a lot of behind the scenes work, like making referrals on the person’s behalf.”
What should I look for in a Support Coordinator?
You have a choice over who coordinates your support. Having the right person in place can have an impact on your quality of life, so it’s so it’s worth taking the time to choose a Support Coordinator who you trust and get along with.
Here are some of the qualities to look for when choosing a Support Coordinator:
- They put you first
Look for someone who partners with you, respects your choices and is flexible enough to meet your needs – even when things change. “Ultimately, it’s the client’s plan,” says Home Caring Support Coordinator Nicki. “I guide and support them, as they are the decision makers of their lives.”
- They are outcome-focused
Your Support Coordinator should be motivated to help you achieve your goals, which according to Home Caring Support Coordinator Alvin, involves a lot of thinking and planning. “You really have to put your mind to it, to understand each individual’s case. Everything needs to work together to provide the best support,” he says.
- They know your area well
It helps if your Support Coordinator knows your area well, so they can connect you to local services. Home Caring Support Coordinators are mostly locals to the area, which means they are in a great position to help you engage with the community and find the help you need.
- They share information and help you understand your plan
Choose someone who knows the NDIS well, so they can teach you how it works and help you understand your plan. They should be open about sharing information with you, so you are genuinely able to make decisions about where your funding goes.
- They are great communicators
Alongside explaining your plan to you, a Support Coordinator must be able to write reports to the NDIS on your behalf and communicate what is working and what isn’t. Good reading, writing and communication skills are important!
What should I ask a Support Coordinator before signing on with them?
To make sure you are partnering with someone who you are happy with, here are some of the questions you may want to ask the Support Coordinator before engaging their services.
- How have you successfully worked with people like me (i.e. with my diagnosis or condition) in the past?
- How will you help me develop and achieve my goals?
- How do I get in touch with you if I have any questions?
- What are your prices? What is included in your services?
- How will you help me choose between service providers?
- What kinds of supports have you connected people to in the past?
- Is there a notice period for ending aservice agreement?
Home Caring offers Support Coordination services for people with NDIS funding. To find out how we can help you or your loved one, please get in touch for a free consultation.