Support Coordination series: NDIS Participant plan reviews

Guest blogger Mary Ingerton, Managing Director at Support Coordination Academy, talks through how to make the NDIS Plan review process easier.

It’s a requirement many Support Coordinators struggle with - how to show evidence of outcomes achieved, and support provided to a participant in NDIS Reporting?

The short answer is by implementing best practice structured processes to gather information, analyse, evidence and report on outcomes achieved.

It sounds straight-forward enough, but what do these processes look like? Let’s break it down into practical terms…

Person Centred Planning

When first meeting with a participant, a Support Coordinator implements a comprehensive planning and information gathering process with a participant and their support network.

The aim is to take a snapshot of a participant’s situation at a point in time, which can be used to measure progress against, over a period of time.

Here is some of the fundamental information that can be gathered when a Support Coordinator first starts working with a participant, to truly understand their unique needs:

What a participant’ goals mean to them:

  • how they want to achieve their goals, the supports already in place, what needs to change or happen to achieve their goals, or have their goals changed?
  • This is a useful process if the goals listed on their NDIS plan are quite broad.

How a person’s disability impacts on their ability to complete daily tasks:

Who is in the person’s extended support network and identifying gaps in supports:

  • Informal supports: people and connections that are important to the person e.g. family, friends, their culture, religion, where they live and who they live with etc.
  • Community connections: access to and participation in their community, do they feel included or are isolated, who they interact with, their passions, interests, and aspirations.
  • Mainstream services: other government services they currently access or could access like health, education, mental health etc.
  • NDIS funded supports: their disability related support needs, supports already in place, do these supports and their NDIS funding continue to meet their disability related needs etc.

In Support Coordination Academy’s NDIS Support Coordinator Training, a Plan Unpacking Guide is used as best practice to provide a Support Coordinator with a guided process to gather information and support a participant to understand their NDIS plan.

Reviewing a Participant’s Support Needs

Once a participant has been linked into supports, a Support Coordinator continues to review a participant’s support needs, through scheduled check-ins. This helps to build a collaborative working relationship with the participant’s support network and assists a Support Coordinator to monitor, observe, and document the progress or challenges for a participant.

In highly complex situations, especially when there are multiple stakeholders involved, check-ins involve regular case review meetings with the participant and their support network, to share updates, identify barriers and risk, and to agree on actions that each person/provider will take responsibility for to mitigate the impact of any risks occurring.

A scheduled NDIS Review often happens within the last 3 months of a participant’s NDIS Plan ending. A Support Coordinator will complete a NDIS Progress Report to detail and evidence how a participant has progressed towards achieving their goals, identify any barriers or risks and mitigation strategies, and a participant’s future goals and related support needs.

Evidence of a Participant’s Supports Needs

Two activities that can help make gathering evidence of support needs easier include reporting responsibilities within Service Agreements and building collaborative working relationship with the participant’s support network.

A Report, which could be an email, a template to populate or a formalised allied health therapy report, would include:

  • how the provider has supported the participant to work towards achieving their goals and outcomes achieved.
  • any identified barriers and strategies to overcome these barriers.
  • any risks and mitigation strategies in place to minimise the risk occurring.
  • recommendations for future supports needs based on the participant’s future goals.

More comprehensive reports, especially if a participant’s support needs have significantly changed, would include an Occupational Therapy Functional Capacity Assessment.

There’s a lot to learn about the NDIS and Support Coordination. To help you to build your skills, Endeavour Foundation has partnered with Support Coordination Academy to offer free online professional learning sessions for Support Coordinators. To register your interest in future webinars, click here.