Support coordinators are essential in the NDIS and choosing one who best understands your individual needs is key to having a well working NDIS plan. Support coordinators, as the role suggests, help coordinate the NDIS support services that are available to participants. However, finding a support coordinator who meets your expectations, and more importantly, gets you: can be time-consuming, overwhelming, and a tad complicated. Fortunately, NDIS participants now have more control when choosing a support coordinator. But how do you choose a support coordinator who matches your needs and expectations? Here are a few helpful tips.
When Do You Need a Support Coordinator?
Usually, an NDIS participant starts working with a support coordinator almost immediately after their plan is approved. However, deciding the kind of support coordinator they want is their choice. The support coordinator will work closely with you and help you get the most of your plan. However, if you already have a support person or can easily organise your support services, you don’t have to get a support coordinator. It’s vital to note that support coordinators work privately and separately from the NDIA. Moreover, they do get funded out of your NDIS plan. Therefore, before getting a support coordinator, you must discuss with your planner to include the support coordination in your plan.
Tips For Choosing An NDIS Support Coordinator
Finding a support coordinator you trust and rely on is the most important consideration to have as this ensures that you get the most out of your plan. When looking for a support coordinator, you can bank on these tips:
Always Compare Your Options
Several support coordinators are in the market and are always looking for NDIS participants they can assist. While there are many choices, you must be patient and diligent. Try and contact multiple local support organisations and see the reviews and an overview of their services. Presenting yourself with options will give you a much better chance of getting a support coordinator who will suit your needs.
They Should Know Your Local Area
The support coordinator you choose to work with should have good knowledge of the providers and services near you. It allows them to meet your goals and outcomes.
Ask For Referrals
If you have friends or know people using NDIS programs, ask them about the support coordinators they are using. Find out if they like the services and if they would recommend them.
Look For Reliability
The NDIS support coordinator you choose should be reliable, available, and ready to help you whenever you need them. Sometimes you can tell if a support coordinator is reliable by looking at reviews and see what other participants say about their services.
Choose Independent Support Coordinators
Support coordinators are meant to ensure you have a seamless NDIS journey. Therefore, it is always best to go for independent businesses that provide only support coordination services aka specialist support services.
Look For Innovativeness
Every NDIS participant has unique needs. What’s working for another participant may not work for you. Therefore, the ideal support coordinator should be innovative and be able to improvise and think beyond what’s in front of them and develop the best suitable solutions when you need them.
Check For Pricing
Support coordinators charge differently depending on the services they provide or include in your plan. However, support coordinators registered by NDIS can only charge what’s on the NDIS price guide. Once you know what a service provider is charging, you can negotiate with them for a price that suits your budget. It also means that you can get more out of the allocated funding. On the NDIS price guide, you can find more useful information about what you can claim through your funding and the category to claim it.
Ask For Different Levels of Support Coordination
Support coordination comes through in three main levels:
- Specialist support coordination is the highest level, especially for participants in complex situations.
- Support connection – enables you to connect with the community and funded support to help achieve your goals.
You can choose to include the support coordination type that best suits your needs in your plan.
How Do They Track Your Progress?
When choosing a support coordinator, you should first find ask how they track your progress in achieving your goals. According to the NDIS, support coordinators should report what’s working and what’s not to make informed decisions when designing their next plan. Therefore, a good support coordinator should have the means to read, write and communicate with you, and tell if you are on the right track towards achieving your goals.
You Should Be the Priority
A good support coordinator should work closely with you and put your needs and choices first. Moreover, they should offer flexible solutions to help you meet your goals. This means your support coordinator shouldn’t be handling additional responsibilities that distract from their commitment to you.
There are several support coordination organisations out there, and this can make it hard to choose an ideal one to work with. Whether you only have access to services within your town, you need to decide on the right one. It’s best to choose a support coordinator with no connection to any current services you are using or looking to use. You should always have your set of questions to ask a support coordinator before you decide to work with them. If they satisfy the answers, then they are a good choice.