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If you have an NDIS Plan or are looking to become an NDIS participant, you may have heard about Support Coordination.
If Support Coordination is listed in your Plan, it means you can choose a Support Coordinator to work alongside you as you get started and continue using your NDIS Plan.
What is a Support Coordinator?
The job of a Support Coordinator is to help you choose a good mix of supports in your Plan and work with you so that you can build up your own skills and become confident to take on more of the responsibility yourself.
As an NDIS participant, you may need support in getting started. A Support Coordinator can help you:
- Understand your NDIS Plan and its budgets
- Find and connect with supports and services in your community
- Link with any therapy and equipment services you need
- Explore permanent housing options
- Work towards achieving the goals that are important to you in your NDIS Plan
When you receive your first NDIS Plan, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed or unsure about what you need to do next. A Support Coordinator is your partner who will help you breathe life into your NDIS Plan.
Not everyone will have a Support Coordinator, but it can be included where a person has higher level needs or may not have access to support from family or friends – so don’t be afraid to ask for one during your planning meeting.
What is a Specialist Support Coordinator?
If you have complex needs, you may be funded for a Specialist Support Coordinator.
This person usually comes with a clinical background, such as a Social Worker, Psychologist or Occupational Therapist. Specialist Support Coordinators do all the same things as a regular Support Coordinator, but also incorporate their specialist expertise to help you manage the specific challenges you’ll face.
At Brightwater, we offer both Support Coordination and Specialist Support Coordination. Click here to learn more.
How do I find a Support Coordinator?
If you’d like to use the services of a Support Coordinator, it’s important you let your Planner know. Support Coordination is funded if deemed ‘reasonable and necessary’, so be prepared to explain why you think you need it.
Once a Plan has been approved, a Support Coordinator will help you make sense of your funding and make the most of it. Your funding will determine how much they can do for you – they will give you an indication of what they can help with, and might recommend that you save enough funding come Plan Review time, since the outcome can have a big impact the following year. Your Support Coordination funding may also be reviewed during your Plan Review, so it’s important to keep that in the back of your mind.
To find a Support Coordinator, you can use the Provider Finder tool on the myplace portal to search for local options.
What’s in it for me?
According to the NDIS, Support Coordinators have five major roles. They’re listed below – along with how that benefits you.
Assists you in developing knowledge, experience and connections with the community and broader systems of support.
The benefit? Over time, you’ll build the confidence and capacity to lead the way, so you can connect with and maintain relationships with all your support providers.
2. Support design
Works with you to understand plan funding and its purpose. They will understand your confidence and skills, and help you identify what you want from your services. They will also develop and design support solutions to meet your outcomes.
The benefit? Instead of going in blindly, you’ll understand the aspects of your Plan. Depending on your goals, they’ll come up with creative ways to help you achieve them, through services you might not have thought of or known about.
3. Establish supports
Assists you to identify and consider support options, and links you to the broader systems of supports. Where practical, they will create a supports and action plan to help you implement your plan.
The benefit? There’s a lot to get your head around in the world of NDIS. A Support Coordinator will get things up and running, taking into account everything they’ve learned about you and recommending ways you can get the most ‘bang for your buck’.
Assists you to resolve points of crisis and develop capacity and resilience in your network.
The benefit? Naturally, you might run into a few obstacles. Your Support Coordinator will be your first point of call when something comes up, so there’s no need to worry – you’re not alone.
5. Coach, refine, reflect
Coaches you through challenges that come up and helps you prepare for your review and report on your achieved outcomes.
The benefit? Over time, the advice you get from your Support Coordinator will help put you in the driver’s seat, so you’ll know what to do when you run into an issue or are due for a Plan Review.
At Brightwater, we provide NDIS services for adults with complex disabilities. Along with Support Coordination, we also offer therapy services, equipment and assistive technology, behavioural assessment and support, and supported independent living.
Are there things that my Support Coordinator is unable to provide for me?
It’s important to remember that the NDIS supports individuals to work toward specific short and longer term goals.
Where you experience points of crisis, your Support Coordinator can support you to connect with the right services. However, this doesn’t replace the need for your GP, health, hospital and crisis support services, such as emergency accommodation, legal aid and family support services.
Support Coordinators are also not able to manage changes to your day-to-day appointments, your finances or financial components of your Plan.
Support Coordination is also not the same as case management in terms of support in times of crisis. Equally, Support Coordination is not the same as plan management. Plan management is an intermediary that you can appoint to pay your NDIS supports.
Prepare for the possibilities
At Brightwater, we turn dreams into goals.
Step by step, we’ll support you along the road to reaching your potential, so you can live your best life now and in the future.