Navigating the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), finding services that are right for you, and understanding the jargon can sometimes feel overwhelming.
This is where support coordination comes in. In this article, we’ll explain what a support coordinator does, what to consider when choosing a support coordination service provider, and where to find the best in Canberra.
What does a support coordinator do?
A support coordinator works closely with you to help you build the skills to understand, implement and use your NDIS plan in a way which best suits you.
A support coordinator is not the same as a local area coordination (LAC) partner. The main difference between the two is the source of funding. Support coordination is funded through your NDIS plan. An LAC is not. Not everyone receives funding for a support coordinator.
Three levels of support coordination can be included in your plan:
- Support connection
- Support coordination
- Specialist support coordination.
You might receive funding for one of these supports in your NDIS plan depending on your goals and requirements.
What to consider when choosing a support coordination provider
You can find a registered support coordination provider on the NDIS website.
There are plenty to choose from and it can be difficult to know where to start. Remember that you can change your support coordinator if you want to. The important thing is finding someone who works well with you. This is because they will be your primary point of contact for all NDIS-related information.
Other qualities to consider include:
- Rapport. You need to feel comfortable with your support coordinator, and be able to ask them questions about your NDIS funding and plan.
- Disability sector experience. The best support coordinators have experience and connections in the disability sector. They can link you with providers that best suit your needs, ensure service agreements and service bookings are completed, and work closely with you to help build your ability to coordinate your supports.
- Communication skills. Your support coordinator will help you understand your funding and manage your budget. They should be able to translate your plan so you can understand it, and help you get the most out of your funding. They should listen to your needs and goals and be guided by them. They should also communicate with you openly about your plan.
- Ability to link you with services across multiple organisations. Each plan is different, and your support coordinator should have options that can be tailored to your needs.
- A team approach. When choosing a support coordinator, ask yourself if they are listening to your needs. Are they working collaboratively with you? Your support coordinator should work with you as a team, rather than on your behalf without consulting you.
Your NDIS plan and the services you access are about you. When meeting with potential support coordinators ask how they will help you achieve your goals. You are in control of the supports you receive, and who works with you to provide those supports.
The best support coordination providers in Canberra
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When it comes to NDIS support coordination, Woden Community Service (WCS) is the first choice for many Canberrans. Its support coordinators include social workers, psychotherapists and people with disabilities, many with over ten years of experience in the community service and disability sector.
WCS’s dedicated team works with participants of all ages and abilities from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds. It has strong links to other NDIA-registered service providers, and focuses on a recovery-based, capacity building approach when working with NDIS participants.
WCS is one of the few providers in Canberra that offers specialist coordination. This is for people whose situations are more complex and who need specialist support from either a psychologist, a social worker or an occupational therapist. WCS’s specialist support coordinators assist participants in managing challenges in their support environment and help ensure a consistent delivery of service throughout the plan.
WCS is focused on creating a vibrant and connected community through hope, community, integrity, and responsiveness. It welcomes, listens, and values people’s stories and aims to support people with their goals for their future. Its services are based on respect, acceptance and choice. Team members actively engage with individuals, the community and sector and are always focused on maintaining resilient communities.
Communities@Work has over 42 years of experience supporting the Canberra community. As a registered NDIS provider, its dedicated support coordinators can help you manage, access and implement your NDIS plan through high quality support coordination services.
Communities@Work adopts a practical and person-centred approach towards support and encouragement to achieve identified goals, and to understand and manage your support needs. With a large network across Canberra, it provides links to suitable community services, groups and courses.
Formerly known as Belconnen Community Service, Capital Region Community Services (CRCS) has worked in the NDIS sector – including providing support coordination services – since its rollout in 2013. With a person-centred approach to service delivery, CRCS’ team of support coordinators have experience working with a range of participants across all areas of the NDIS, from early childhood through to end of life in the disability and mental health sectors. They are well-equipped to help you get the best out of your NDIS plan. CRCS won the Excellence in Inclusive Services and Disability Support at the 2019 ACT Chief Minister’s Inclusion Awards. However, its team will always look at all other options to best suit your needs. They see disability from a range of perspectives everyday, which allows them to connect with you with compassion.
Whilst you’re looking for support coordinators, you should also read our article on the best NDIS service providers in Canberra.
Your experience with support coordination providers in Canberra
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Have you had experience with any of the support coordination providers listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.