How to achieve your goals by getting the best out of your support services and maximising their coordination
Here at ConnectAbility we understand that navigating all the different support services can seem overwhelming, and tying them all together into the perfect National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan to help you meet your personal goals is our number one priority. ConnectAbility is a registered provider with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) who governs and funds the scheme. The NDIS allows not only for Support Plans, but the expertise of the Support Coordinator in navigating the different support services and types of plans you might need.
What is a Support Coordinator?
While on your journey to managing your life and meeting your goals, you will come into contact with a diverse range of specialists and operators who will get a glimpse into a part of your life. While all these people play a special role in your journey, none will be as special as that of your support coordinators. The individuals who fill this role often give everything of themselves to their jobs, in order to get the absolute best outcomes for their clients. In order to help their clients meet their goals and get the right support services in their NDIS plan, Support Coordinators must become familiar with all facets of their clients lives – their interests, hobbies, friends, family, support needs and personal goals.
There is no way for a Support Coordinator to do that without becoming invested in the success of their clients lives via their NDIS plans. Once a Support Coordinator has learned all they need to know, they will then sit down and help their client form a care and support plan that allows their client to exercise choice and control over their lives. They are not only providing a service but teaching their clients how to have more power in their lives.
How does a Support Coordinator help create a Support Plan?
A Support Coordinator will not only help you choose and manage the services you need to access and how they match up with your personal goals, but they will also help you identify the following:
- Services and support that are the responsibility of healthcare and education services via state or territory governments
- Find the right service providers for you that are included in your NDIS funding
- Link up community services and programs outside the NDIS that interest you to your plan
- Help you put service agreements and bookings in place with your providers to reduce any confusion or surprises
- Help you choose support and service providers based on your individual preferences and lifestyle – each client’s needs are unique and Support Coordinators always put that first.
- Help you put everything together in your plan to meet your goals – Services you can pay for with your NDIS funding, and services outside of that.
- Your constant point of contact should anything in your life change that requires an update to your plan or a service provider within it.
What levels of Support Coordination are there?
The NDIA has divided Support Coordination into three different tiers, dictated by the assessed need of the individual. Understandably, some people need a bit more help than others, and the NDIA has catered for that in this area to help clients get exactly the level of support they need. These support tiers go from the least amount of support, to most:
- Support Connection
- Support Coordination
- Specialist Support Coordination
Dividing levels of support coordination into these different tiers allows the NDIA to use their government funding to maximum efficiency and be able to provide care to more clients overall. For extra information on these different tiers, please click here to read our outline.
How will having a support coordinator help me reach my goals?
The role of your Support Coordinator is first to get to know you well enough that they can help you determine your personal goals, interest and needs in your life. Without knowing these things, they won’t be able to help you create a plan that delivers the right outcome for you. Even learning how to identify and set goals is a skill, and Support Coordinators are there to teach you.
Once you have settled on some goals and the direction you would like to move in, the most appropriate service providers can be selected. Your Support Coordinator will help you identify what you are entitled to access outside of the NDIS funding, so that you can maximise the funding available to you. Many services and activities can be accessed at no cost, and Support Coordinators are the experts at knowing what those are and how to access them.
Support Coordinators will match up service providers, community services and activities that help you meet your personal goals, whatever they may be. They are also there to help you change direction if you find that a service isn’t working for you or your goals have shifted.
How can I prepare to discuss my support needs with a Support Coordinator?
Before meeting your new Support Coordinator, it may be helpful to write down a few questions you would like to ask them, as well as listing a few outcomes and goals you would like to achieve through a successful support plan.
Good questions to ask your support coordinator to get to know them and their experience might be:
- What is their experience in delivering support and creating support plans?
- How does their pricing work? What is included in their pricing, and how will you be invoiced?
- How will they help you achieve your goals?
- Do they require a notice period if you wish to end the service agreement with them?
Information you should bring with you to meet your Support Coordinator
Writing down a list of things about yourself to bring to your meeting with your Support Coordinator can be extremely useful in helping you get the right plan, sooner. It’s easy to forget important information when you’re on the spot, and meeting someone for the first time. We recommend jotting down the following things, and bringing them to your first meeting with your Support Coordinator:
- Challenges in your life you would like to overcome or improve on
- Any personal goals you may have. These could be anything from gaining more outside activity, to spending more time with family and friends.
- The types of service that has worked for you in the past, and what hasn’t. For example, perhaps you have had great experiences with Physiotherapy, but did not gain a benefit from Chiropractic services – everyone is different.
- Your personal interests and hobbies – if you like painting, bush walks, dancing, horse riding or playing music – let your Support Coordinator know so they can create a plan for you that gets you excited each day!
Why should I use Support Coordination at ConnectAbility?
ConnectAbility is deeply committed to the joy and success of our clients. Our organisation was founded in 1992 by community members and families who wanted to provide better services to their local disabled and aged community members. It has since had the privilege of growing into a much bigger organisation in terms of the services and support we are able to provide, thanks to the constant support and donations of the wider community. We are now involved in improving the lives of clients all over Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens, Maitland and the Lower Hunter regions. Over the last 19 years of operations, we have had the great luck to not only have the support of our community, but be able to employ a range of talented and passionate Support Coordinators to help our clients get to where they want to be.
If you have questions about Support Coordination, or the quality of support we can offer you here at ConnectAbility, please don’t hesitate to contact us and talk to one of our experienced team members today!