What should you expect from a good Support Coordinator?
22 May, 2020
Your Support Coordinator is responsible for coordinating your NDIS supports to ensure you are happy, healthy and empowered to live the life you want to. Choosing the right Support Coordinator is a big decision, so here are the skills and attributes you should be looking for.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports Australians with disabilities to live life to the fullest. Created in 2013, the aim of the NDIS is to help people with the costs associated with living with a disability.
What is an NDIS Support Coordinator?
Support coordination is a type of support that is often included in an NDIS Plan, under the ‘Capacity building supports’ category. If you have a disability, you may have an allocation of funding for someone to help you manage all the different supports offered to you. Quite literally, they coordinate these supports.
As we’ve seen, there’s a very wide range of support available under the NDIS. It can be overwhelming for someone who doesn’t have expert knowledge of the system to research, speak to and schedule services with the different providers. A specialised Support Coordinator helps to make sure you’re getting the most value for your money, while helping you to access all of the supports you need.
It’s important to note that not everyone will get funding for coordination of supports in their NDIS Plan. If you feel confident to self-manage your Plan, this can be addressed.
What does a Support Coordinator do?
There are three different levels of support coordination, but at a basic level, each will:
Get to know you and your NDIS Plan
Help you to engage different supports
Manage your budget effectively
Support you to put your Plan into action!
What makes a good Support Coordinator?
A good Support Coordinator will make sure you are able to access all of the different elements of your Plan. A great one will know that Plan inside out, and get to know you very well too.
People who work in this role aren’t just there because it’s a job. They genuinely care about you and can help you to understand and navigate the complex NDIS system.
Here are the top 5 signs you’ve found a great Support Coordinator:
1. They understand the system and your Plan
It’s important that your Support Coordinator has experience with the NDIS and the price guides associated. They’ll then be able to tell you what services and supports you’re eligible for. It can be so confusing for someone who’s new to the system - especially with constant changes - so they study up, so you don’t have to.
2. They look at your whole life
A great Support Coordinator isn’t just interested in your physical wellbeing , they also care about your emotional, spiritual, mental and financial wellbeing. By getting to know you, they can help you to find tailored support in a way that most benefits you as an individual.
3. They make great connections
When a Support Coordinator knows where to go for supports, this is even better. They will have researched the best providers and suppliers in your area and having a close relationship with them will often enable them to negotiate a better deal for you.
4. They problem solve with you
Support Coordinators should be flexible and creative, especially if something (quite literally) cannot go to plan. They’ll help you when challenges arise and show you how to find solutions, assisting you to develop problem solving skills. If they don’t know the answer to something, they will always find out!
5. They empower you to be independent
Many people won’t need support coordination services the next time they create an NDIS Plan with the NDIA. Independence is often a big goal for people living with a disability, so they can help you to help yourself in future, by supporting you to take control of your own journey.
What is an NDIS Plan?
An NDIS Plan is government funding provided to Australians living with disabilities to pay for services and supports. Its aim is to provide the help you need, based on your individual:
hopes for your future
Your NDIS Plan is not set in stone for life and will be revisited at various stages to review what is and isn’t working for you. Services and supports can be added or tweaked as required.
You can choose the providers you would like to work with in relation to your required support. These will not be chosen for you, giving you freedom of choice and flexibility.
Someone from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will come and talk to you about your individual needs. They’ll discuss with you - or your nominated relative, friend or carer - any gaps or unmet needs you may have with any existing support.
Each person is considered a unique individual, so no two NDIS Plans will look the same. The ethos behind the NDIS is that you are encouraged to live an independent, fulfilling and comfortable life. They aim to put you first and help you get the financial assistance you need in all areas.
Who is eligible for support coordination services?
Not everyone with an NDIS Plan needs help with the coordination of supports. If you don’t have an existing support network behind you, or if you’d feel more confident with a professional, funds may be allocated in your Plan.
You may be eligible to have a Support Coordinator now, but the NDIS may believe that in the future, you’ll develop the skills, knowledge and confidence required to navigate their system on your own. A Support Coordinator can help you with this kind of capacity building to make it easier for you to do it independently down the track.
All Plans are created on a case-by-case basis, so you can request support coordination if you think it’s necessary. However, if you don't request support coordination and you meet the necessary criteria, it may automatically be assigned to you.
What kind of supports are funded in an NDIS Plan?
The key supports funded tend to relate to community access, domestic assistance, personal care or therapy. These come under three different categories.
Core supports help with everyday activities and assistance with daily life. This may include having support workers assist with household cooking, cleaning and personal care to help you look and feel your best each day and equipment to make getting around easier. Also, it includes transport to and from places you like to go, social support and community participation.
Capacity building supports
Capacity building supports are designed to increase your independence and skills as you work towards long term goals. This can include support coordination, or therapeutic services like Art Therapy and Pet Therapy and Occupational Therapy to help improve quality of life.
These kinds of supports cover the costs of more expensive pieces of assistive technology and equipment. This could include home or vehicle modifications, or one-off big purchases. You must spend the money for this type of support exactly as directed.
An NDIS Plan is all about what matters to you
Your NDIS Plan is designed to give you choice and control. This means that the money goes beyond essential everyday needs and supports you to incorporate activities you love into your life. Here are just a few ideas:
Starting dance lessons
Meeting a friend for a weekly coffee date
Attending job interviews
Going to work
Shopping for new clothes
Day trips to the beach
How can Focus Care help with support coordination?
We are a registered NDIS provider with a team of excellent Support Coordinators who’d love to get to know you. As a person-centred organisation, we focus on ensuring you have full control over the services and supports you receive. We aim to be independent and unbiased.
By taking the time to learn about you, your likes, dislikes, interests and needs, we’re able to help you to achieve your goals, whatever they may be. Remember, support coordination services are offered at no personal cost to you. The cost is covered by your NDIS Plan.
Our Support Coordinators have plenty of experience supporting participants across the areas in which we operate. We work throughout Sydney, the Central Coast, Newcastle, the Hunter region and the Illawarra region to help people get the most from their NDIS Plan – and we would love to help you too.
Contact us today on 1300 941 750 to discuss your NDIS needs further. Then we’ll then arrange a time for a full no-obligation, complimentary consultation.