As you are familiarising yourself with NDIS language, you might start to hear the term ‘support coordination’ and want to know what it is.
Under the NDIS people with a disability will have a choice about the providers they use to ensure they get the support they need, when they need it and how they need it.
However, sourcing and then managing multiple providers and services can be complicated and time consuming. ‘Who are the best people to use for a service I’ve not used before?’, ‘How do I manage so many appointments?’, ‘I need to ensure all my providers are kept up to date with my treatments’.
Some people may prefer to do this themselves. For other people there is a service called ‘support coordination’, which can provide assistance with implementing your plan. Support coordination works with you to source the right providers and the right services, coordinating your supports for you and building on your informal support like your family.
There are three tiers of support coordination available depending on how much or little assistance you’d like:
- Support connection – this is short term assistance to help you source a range of providers that meet your needs but with you taking the responsibility for coordinating all your support and selecting your providers.
- Coordination of supports – available longer term, throughout your plan, to provide connection and coordination of your supports from a range of sources in a more complex environment.
- Specialist support coordination – specialist supports for more complex situations. This is more like case management.
How can you tell if a support coordinator is right for you?
Objectivity – you want to source the most appropriate providers and services to meet your needs. A support coordinator may work for an organisation that provides multiple services that could be in your plan. Before you sign up for support coordination, ask them what checks and balances are in place to prevent them simply recommending their own services. At Endeavour Foundation, our support coordinators are an entirely separate arm of the organisation, and are not located in the same buildings as our other services to ensure that recommendations are impartial and based on your needs.
Willingness to truly partner with you – do you have reasonable rapport with your support coordinator? Depending on the level of support coordination you are funded for, you and your family may have extensive dealings with your coordinator, so it’s important to have a good relationship and feel as though they have your back.
Outcome-focused – the NDIS is centred on capacity building such as acquiring new skills, increasing independence, and providing value for money. A good support coordinator will be focussed on the outcomes that are outlined in your plan, and that you tell them are important to you. Ask them to outline specifically how they will support you to achieve these outcomes. Together, you should be working towards your goals.
Experience in your locality – extensive knowledge of the disability and community sectors in your area – the quality of services in particular fields – is essential to best meet your individual needs. Endeavour Foundation has been operating since 1951 is and we know the NDIS inside out, allowing the best possible insights into the services and supports that are available to you.
Rights-based – you have the right to full and equal participation in the planning process. A good support coordinator will facilitate your involvement, listen to what you have to say and support you to get what you want from your plan by linking you to the right agency.
Support coordination may be funded as part of your NDIS package, where it is deemed ‘reasonable and necessary’. It‘s important to ensure you request support coordination to your planner, if it‘s something you think you‘ll need.