A Support Coordinator is there to help you:
- find all the services you need - both disability services (like support workers) and other services (like finding a new GP or getting a job)
- look for local places where you can meet new people and play an active part in your community (like the local soccer club, art class, or exercise group)
- organise your services so that they are working together properly and are really helping you with your goals
- write up reports to the NDIS on how things are going for you and to let the NDIS know what you need in the next plan
- talk to the NDIS if your funding isn’t right
- learn more about how to make your own decisions about which services you use and about how the NDIS works.
A lot of organisations are offering Support Coordination and it can be really hard to know how to choose the right one for you. Even if you only have the option of two services in your town, you still need to decide which one would be right for you. VALID suggests that you choose a Support Coordinator that has no connection to the current services you are using or wish to use. For example, if you go to a day service, usually it is best to choose a Support Coordinator from a different service. Hence, it is best to choose an independent Support Coordinator.
VALID does not recommend any particular organisations to people, however we do recommend that you ask Support Coordinators a few of the following questions before you decide on which one you want:
- Does the Support Coordinator charge for travel?
- Support Coordinators can charge for travel if they are asked to go a long distance from their office, so you’ll need to take the costs into consideration. You might be happy with meetings by video call, but you might prefer to meet regularly face-to-face. It’s your choice.
- What do they know about how to work with people with similar needs to yours?
- If they have not worked with people with intellectual disability before, they might have some difficulty researching and locating the right services with the right skills and values. On the other hand, you might think using someone new to the job is a good thing. It’s up to you!
- Do they have local knowledge about the things you want and need?
- You don’t want to spend too much of the funding you have for Support Coordination on the worker making calls and searching online for options. It helps if the Support Coordinator is located in or knows about your community.
- What experience does the organisation have in teaching people like you how to choose their own services?
- You will want someone who can teach you how the NDIS works so that you know more about the NDIS every year and can make more of your own choices in the future.
- How does the organisation track your progress on reaching your goals?
- The NDIS expects reports from the Support Coordinator about what is working and what isn’t working so that they can make good decisions about next year’s plan. Your Support Coordinator should have excellent reading, writing and communication skills if they are going to do a good job for you.
When you have decided on the questions that are most important to you, make a short list of a few local providers and give them a call or meet up in person to ask your questions. You can ask your NDIS planner to give you a list of the local options or you can search on the NDIS website. The NDIS website has a list of registered Support Coordinators for all areas.
You can also ask people you know who they are using and whether they’re happy with the service. A recommendation from other people you trust can be really helpful.
If you need advocacy support from VALID about the NDIS, or anything else, you can contact our Duty Intake Advocate on 03 9416 4003 or email [email protected]
You can also contact the Advocacy Manager, Sarah Forbes at [email protected]