What is a NDIS Support Coordinator?
Recently we had a fantastic week at the two biggest disability expos in Adelaide, KYD-X and
Disability, Ageing and Lifestyle Expo, not only did we meet some potential new SACARE participants but we met with some very passionate Support Coordinators
too. So, we thought we’d share a guest blog post from a Support Coordinator who has been tremendously helpful by referring NDIS participants to SACARE,
her name is Laura Morris and she has just launched her new business “Abilities SA”. Some of you may be wondering what a role of a Support Coordinator
looks like, so we asked the fabulous Laura herself!
What does a Support Coordinator do?
- Understanding your NDIS Plan can be very stressful at times, so a Support Coordinator minimises the stress a new NDIS plan can have on the NDIS participant and/or family.
- We assist the participant and their nominee to unpack the NDIS jargon and complex confusing language.
- We explain how the plan is comprised (the three C’s).
- We support participants and their nominees to understand the implementation and coordination process and discuss preferred methods of communication by all parties.
- We monitor funded supports in participant’s plans and work towards achieving participant outcomes and goals.
- We enhance and build the participants connection to the community through engagement and services.
- We support participants and their nominee/family to build their capacity in relation to managing and coordinating their loved ones NDIS plan.
- At all times a support coordinator must act in the best interests of a participant. This includes managing any conflict of interest.
How did you become a Support Coordinator and what led you to start Abilities SA?
I recently left government after working in accommodation services after 26 years. My role evolved over the years but was predominately about supporting people with a disability to achieve their hopes, dreams and goals. Transitioning into the NDIS three years ago to assist people to implement and coordinate their NDIS plans was a natural step for me. Being a sole trader enables me to offer a personalised (and at times, out of hours) service. Quite often participants and their families/nominees struggle to contact a Support Coordinator by phone or email within the realms of Monday to Friday 9 to 5 hours. I provide a mobile number and email address to my participants and nominees and welcome texts, calls and emails out of hours.
What are the most rewarding and challenging parts about being a Support Coordinator?
The rewarding part about being a Support Coordinator is meeting new people and their families and assisting them to implement and coordinate their NDIS plans. It is also rewarding to have amazing experiences with a variety of providers and then connect the participant to the provider that best suits their needs.
Support Coordinators are paid by the hour, just like most other NDIS supports. So, once the Participant’s funding has run out, Support Coordinators are under no obligation to continue providing support (provided that discontinuing support would not breach a duty of care). But it’s no secret that many Participants do not receive enough funding for a Support Coordinator to do everything on the list above.
The best Support Coordinators will take some time at the beginning of a Plan to discuss how much they can realistically achieve given the person’s funding. From there, they can explore with the person which of the roles outlined above are most important to them. This allows them to work together to set clear expectations about which roles the Support Coordinator will fulfil and which they may provide limited or no support in.
What are your top tips for Support Coordinators?
- Be versatile and flexible with your processes. Your way is not necessarily the way the participant wants to follow so – listen and guide where necessary.
- Ring and email people back in an acceptable time frame.
- Communication is the key. Also sharing information with as many interested parties as possible is powerful and yields results.
- Be kind. Put yourself in the shoes of the participant and their loved ones. Think about how you might like to be treated or how you want your loved ones to be supported.
- Wherever possible, try to ensure you save some hours to support the Participant to prepare for their Plan Review! This can be really high impact work,
enabling the person to have a great year to come.
|If you are an NDIS Participant and would like to get in touch with Laura to learn more about how she can support you...
Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a Support Coordinator in Adelaide, we are holding a tour of our Supported Independent Living, The Gums and a presentation about the services we provide to NDIS participants on November 28th. If you would like to receive an invitation, please email email@example.com.