Support Coordination is a role which emerged with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to help participants and families navigate the complexities of the scheme.
In a nutshell, it is to find supports, manage funding and help people understand how this relatively new funding system for people with disabilities works. It is similar to a case manager’s role, but support coordinators do not take on tasks such as personal care or taking participants to appointments. They coordinate support workers, other providers to perform daily care, therapists for recovery and manage crisis situations.
The NDIS is an intricate system which requires proof of what is reasonable and necessary in order to obtain funding. In a specific instance, a MacKillop support coordinator successfully obtained funding and coordinated occupational therapists, builders and providers to implement home modifications such as grab rails, ceiling hoists and ramps for a participant with Cerebral Palsy. This required skills and knowledge of the NDIS, an understanding of the funding categories and using specific language for NDIS planners to understand the requirement for the supports, so they could incorporate it into the participant’s NDIS plan and approve the funding
A support coordinator can also help ensure that subsequent plans are funded to adequately cover the participant’s ongoing support needs. Support Coordinators provide support to families who need help managing the multitude of providers, health care supports, education and accommodation agencies.
Having an experienced support coordinator can help lessen frustration and disappointment which can be caused by a lack of understanding about how the NDIS works. It is ideally used in the first or second plan to kick start one’s NDIS journey, where capacity will be built for people who are capable to continue to coordinate their own plans in the future.