Here's a quick list of qualities to look for in a Support Coordinator.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides greater choice and control for people who require disability support than ever before. However, it can be difficult to know where to start when you receive your first NDIS plan and the process of connecting with suitable providers can be confusing.
If your plan includes support coordination, the person you choose to provide this service will play a significant role in how well your supports meet your needs.
To help you on your way we have compiled a list of qualities that we think makes a great Support Coordinator.
1. Helps you help yourself
Getting the most out of your plan involves you being in the driver's seat and making the important decisions, so what you want is someone who can really help you understand your plan from day dot and prepare you to manage your own plan going into the future. You'll know it. If you feel empowered by the information given and supported to take control of your NDIS journey – you're with the right Support Coordinator.
2. Understands you
Someone who takes the time and effort to understand what a meaningful life looks like for you, where you've been, and where you want to go is ideal. Remember, this is your plan for reaching your goals. Sometimes you won't be able to get everything you want, but you'll know if you have someone who has taken the time to listen.
3. Understands the NDIS
The NDIS can seem daunting and complex if you are still learning how it works. Someone who understands it inside and out will make it easy. The NDIS is always on the move. Someone who is up to date is worth their weight in gold.
4. Flexible and creative
A coordinator who will match their working style to your needs and preferences and will utilise mainstream and community supports is what you deserve. They will work creatively to get the most from your plan by thinking outside box. There's likely to be a few 'no's' along your NDIS journey, a great Support Coordinator will do their absolute best to turn the 'no' into 'yes' with a bit of creativity.
5. Fair and independent
Biased coordinators can't reliably provide you with the best service. Before committing, it's worth asking just what's in place to always act in your best interests to prevent them from simply going through the motions. Don't be fooled by perceived independence either. They don't need to operate from home with an ABN. The good ones could easily work for a large national organisation. A broad network, familiarity with services across the sector, and coordination that covers a range of solutions from multiple providers are all evidence of a fair and independent Support Coordinator.
You deserve someone who provides you with a well-informed choice of services and has a strong track record of person-centred coordination. It helps to use a local coordinator with experience in your area of disability so they are familiar with the services convenient to you. Disability is a huge sector covering a range of diagnoses and supports. Consider if you are after a generalist or a specialist. Chances are your unique situation would benefit from a Support Coordinator who's an expert in your particular area of disability.