Support Coordination – A conduit to success for NDIS Participants
Updated: May 23
Support Coordination is a category of support under NDIS that is well known to those who are connected to or working in NDIS sphere. It is an important support category in a participant’s NDIS plan. For the purpose of this article only, I have referred to it as SC. There is so much written and published about support coordination and the role of support coordinators itself (Detailed Info HERE), hence I would not rewrite it; instead I will focus on key discussions that can assist making support coordination a better experience.
My aim to write today is to shed some light on the very important part of support coordination, that is - the planning itself but more specifically doing it in line with the total SC budget within a participant’s plan and this is often overlooked. It can be a crucial first step prior starting the SC support delivery.
We at ELS have heard from families and health care teams, that many of the scheme participants were unable to achieve their plan goals even at the expiry of the plan. Such situations can be demotivating for participants and may even lead to loss of trust. Now, we understand that there can be many underlying reasons leading to such situations, hence some of the information below can help alleviate such Issues.
The details below can be a refresher for those who are already in NDIS or it may be helpful for some new support coordinators in the field.
Now, very simply a support coordinator’s job is to assist the participant navigate and connect with the support providers and help participants build their capacity for choice and control in their NDIS journey. SC is only meant to be funded for first few plans and is expected to reduce gradually over subsequent plans. The reason for this reduction is due to NDIS believing that with time either the participant develops the capacity to navigate the support system or may already have been connected to the required support network. Hence one can see the importance of getting the support coordination right in the first place, as mishandling it may potentially have implications on plan outcomes.
While support coordination may sound simple by its definition but in practice it can be rather complex and time consuming due to the unprecedented events that may arise during the course of support delivery. Such events may easily exhaust the available SC funding very quickly and hence our emphasis to PLAN A BUDGET at the very beginning, rather than straight getting in to the delivery of support. Also upon setting the budget it is highly important to keep MONITORING the usage of budget in line with goal achievements and make adjustments as needed. A simple idea can be to create list of goals as per participant’s plan and breaking it down into sub-goals and then allocating set number of hours from the total to each of the goals.
Consider confining a small number of hours within the budget for contingency or troubleshooting. This may assist particularly in an event of any unplanned situations that may arise during the life of the plan. Such number crunching may not only give more clarity in setting the right expectations for outcomes staying within the budget, but it also helps to foresee if any extra volunteer support required to assist the participant, in case if the above analysis was an eye opener pointing any shortage of funding. Also, we at ELS believe it to be very important to utilise the first initial meetings to sit with participant and/or family and talk specifically about the analysis part, to be on the same page and to give a clear picture of what can be expected from the support coordination support and the plan in general. We at ELS are using a simple in-house tool that can assist in such crucial planning. This is a simple excel based tool that can be found from the below link -
Above simple techniques and planning can not only get you to the other end of success line but also definitely gets you organised for reporting the progress of the support coordination at the end of the plan which is very much liked by NDIS as a good practice and indirectly may assist in preparation for the next planning meeting.
HAPPY CLIENT – this is what we aim for at ELS.