What is an NDIS Support Coordinator?
Support Coordination (if required) is included in the Capacity Building budget. This is a fixed amount for "strengthening participant’s abilities to coordinate and implement supports in their NDIS plans and to participate more fully in the community".
It's important to note that funding for Support Coordination is not meant to be permanent, so you may not receive this funding in each plan. A Support Coordinator will help build your skills and capacity over time.
An NDIS Support Coordinator will:
- support you to understand and implement the funded supports in your NDIS plan
- link you to community, mainstream and other government services
- support you to build your ability to exercise choice and control
- connect you with service providers
- assist you in preparing for your NDIS plan review
- assist you to 'optimise' your NDIS plan, ensuring that you are getting the most out of your funded supports
- help in times of crisis to resolve points of crisis and develop capacity and resilience
A support coordinator should be like your right hand man/woman. They help you think of ways to best spend your NDIS funding.
This may involves locating unique services, or helping you find providers that you can connect with.
How can a Support Coordinator help you with Service Providers?
A Support Coordinator will assist you to:
- connect with providers of supports you need
- negotiate with providers about what they will offer you and how much it will cost out of your NDIS plan
- creating service agreements with NDIS service providers and
- create service bookings
Can I get Support Coordination if I self-manage or plan manage my NDIS plan?
YES. The way you choose to manage your plan has no effect on whether you receive funding for support coordination.
Funding for support coordination is decided by what is considered reasonable and necessary for each participant.
What are the 3 different kinds of Support Coordination?
There are three levels of NDIS support coordination that can be included in your plan:
This support is to build your ability to connect with informal, community and funded supports enabling you to get the most out of your plan and achieve your goals.
Otherwise called Coordination of supports, this support will assist you to build the skills you need to understand, implement and use your plan.
A support coordinator will work with you to ensure a mix of supports are used to increase your capacity to maintain relationships, manage service delivery tasks, live more independently and be included in your community.
Specialist Support Coordination
This is a higher level of support coordination for people whose situations are more complex and who need specialist support.
It may be provided by a professional with an Allied health background or someone with Psychological expertise.
In the same way that regular ‘Support Coordination’ helps bring your NDIS plan to life by connecting participants to providers, Specialist Support Coordination achieves the same goal but addresses more complex support needs.
Can a Support Coordinator come to my plan review meeting?
Support Coordinators can attend planning meetings (and be paid to do so), so long as they are not there as an “advocate”.
This is because The Department of Social Services funds organisations through the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) to provide advocacy support services to assist participants when engaging in NDIA processes.
If you need an advocate for an NDIS plan meeting, use the Disability Advocacy Finder. This is an online tool to help you find an advocacy organisation in you area.
How to find a Support Coordinator near you
The MyCareSpace directory allows you to enter your location and find a Support Coordinator near you.
How do I choose the right Support Coordinator for me?
It is really important to get a support coordinator who has the skills and knowledge to support you and it is equally important to feel comfortable with them.
Margaret McGrath, a Support Coordinator from Collabor8 Supports suggested this list of questions that you might ask a Support Coordinator before deciding if they are the one for you:
- What do you know about my disability?
- What are some of the local supports that you would recommend to me in my situation?
- How will you communicate with me and my family?
- Will you charge me for travel?
- Will I see invoices before you submit them?
- How will you track my progress toward reaching my goals?
- How will you support me to learn the skills to become more self-sufficient so that I can manage my own supports?
- What is your feedback and complaint management procedure?
- What would be your plan if I get myself into crisis?
Do I need a Service Agreement with a Support Coordinator?
Yes, a support coordinator is like any other service provider and so needs a service agreement before starting their engagement.
Before signing a service agreement, you would decide whether they are the right fit.
Just like starting with any new provider, you can ask them questions that will help you make a decision on whether you will use them as a provider or not.
Below are a few items to include in your service agreement:
- What are their prices? What is included? How will they charge you?
- Do they wish to discuss a notice period for ending an agreement?
Remember, you have choice and control in the supports you receive. This means you have the choice over who provides your supports and how they are provided.