So you’ve signed up for your first NDIS plan. What now?
First, choose the services you need – and one or more providers who can deliver that support. Some people feel confident enough to undertake this themselves, but many start by choosing Support Coordination as the first service under their new plan.
Not every NDIS participant is funded for Support Coordination, but everyone can ask for it at their planning meeting. People who would like to have Support Coordination can suggest from 10 hours per year up to a maximum of 100 hours per year.
A support coordinator will help you to put your NDIS plan into action, using your choice of providers.
“The NDIS rules and ethics around support coordination are very clear,” said David Rafferty, Head of Operations, Achieve Australia. “Regardless of who we work for, our role is to provide impartial advice which helps participants in the NDIS to choose the best provider to meet their needs – and the most appropriate services to support the goals outlined in their plan.”
Support Coordinators also help participants to manage financial resources effectively in order to obtain the best outcomes from their plan.
As part of their role, they also consult and communicate widely with NDIS staff – as well as participants’ families, guardians, communities, support providers, and primary and allied health services providers.
Achieve Support Coordinators come from a variety of backgrounds. Their skills and experience are as diverse as psychology and behaviour support, social networking, front line support, community living management, and Day Programs. All of this knowledge is brought to bear on fulfilling the support needs of NDIS participants who engage them.
Millie Zhang, Senior Support Coordinator with Achieve Australia, said she gains great satisfaction from witnessing the positive changes occurring in people’s lives as support coordination services open up new possibilities.
“Prior to receiving NDIS funding, many people would remain at home without participating in the community and accessing learning, personal development and leisure activities,” said Millie Zhang, Achieve Australia’s Senior Support Coordinator.
“Now we are seeing this change as Support Coordinators educate both staff and families on how best to utilise participants’ funding – for example for Day Programs and extra-curricular activities which encourage interaction with the community.”
“Also, prior to receiving NDIS funding many individuals had old and broken support equipment. They also had to pay for repairs and new equipment from their own funds. Now we’re able to help them obtain specialised and customised equipment utilising their NDIS funding. This ultimately leads to a better quality of life for the individual because mobility allows greater community participation.”