How to choose a disability service provider: The top 9 questions you need to ask
Choosing a disability service provider can be a difficult decision, and one that is important to get right. You’ll need the best provider to suit your individual needs, and the same thing doesn’t always work for everyone. Luckily, Endeavour Foundation have you covered with 9 questions you should ask before choosing a disability service provider.
1. What support services does the provider offer?
This is the first question you should ask yourself and your potential provider. It’s important to know what services are on offer, and what will fit with your NDIS plan. This isn’t always the same with all service providers – some providers will offer support coordinators; others will provide support workers. Some will provide a combination of staff, but it is important to know what your provider offers.
2. How does the provider adapt supports to help me reach my personal goals?
Your goals are some of the things that are most important to you. So, it is important that your service provider understands those goals and makes sure the supports you are purchasing help you to pursue your personal goals. A good support team will work with you to make sure you get all the necessary support you need to live your life the way that you want.
You can ask about how the provider will work with you to understand your goals or create new ones. You can also talk to them about how you prefer to set and review your goals and which ones are most important to you.
3. What experience does the provider’s staff have?
Your disability support provider will need to be able to help you navigate through the NDIS process and provide you with the services that you need. It’s important that they have the experience and skills to make sure that your plans meet your needs as much as possible.
You can ask them for information about how long they have been a provider and read testimonials on their website or ask for references from other people who have used their service.
4. When can I access my support team?
Again, different service providers will have different accesses. Some providers only offer day-time support, some providers will offer weekend support, and some providers offer 24/7 support. It is important to understand what type of support you will need and find a provider which offers that level of support.
5. Can you start working with me today?
Sometimes disability service providers might not be able to start working with you right away and might put you on a waiting list. It’s important to understand your needs and whether you can afford to wait or if you need immediate assistance. You’ll also need to know how long you can afford to wait. You can ask your service provider the following questions about their waitlist if they can’t see you straight away:
- How long is your waitlist?
- How long will it take for me to get a first conversation with you?
- How long will it be between regular meetings?
- Am I able to work with another provider while I’m on the waitlist?
6. Are there any extra costs outside of the NDIS funding?
Your NDIS plan funding can be used to purchase reasonable and necessary supports. It’s still important to check with your provider that your supports fit within your NDIS plan funding, so you won’t have to cover anything out of pocket. Make sure there’s no surprises!
7. How can I give you feedback?
Disability service providers want to work with you to achieve your goals. It’s important for you to be able to give feedback (both good and bad) so that your needs can be met. At Endeavour Foundation, we encourage any positive, neutral or negative feedback from you. This way, we can keep growing to meet your needs and help you to achieve your goals. You can give feedback or contact us directly.
8. What happens when my needs change?
As you achieve your goals, your needs may change. It is important that your disability service provider can change with you to keep meeting those needs. Make sure you find out when you can update your supports and goals. Check how your service provider makes sure that your support plan is always working best for you.
For some service providers, you also have to give notice before you finish working with them. Make sure you find out what your service provider’s rules are so there are no surprises later.
9. Do your research!
Make sure that you look at your disability service provider’s reputation and reviews before you make a decision. You can find these on Google or talk to other people you might know who have used their services before. That way you can make sure that you are going with the right provider for your needs.
Here at Endeavour Foundation, we want to help you achieve your goals. We offer a diverse range of support services to help you live your life the way you want. To find out more about our supports, have a look at these links:
- In-home Support
- Supported Independent Living
- Supported Employment
- Learning and Lifestyle
- Imagine What’s Possible
We also know it can be difficult to understand what is and isn’t included under your NDIS plan. For help understanding the NDIS, you can contact a support coordinator or check out these articles:
We know that choosing a disability support provider can be a difficult choice. We want to make it as easy and stress-free as we can. Find out more about how we can help with your NDIS plan or supports.