What is a Support Coordinator?

In this article, we look at Support Coordination in the NDIS, the role of Support Coordinators, what they do and who they are.

Support coordination assists NDIS Participants to implement the supports in your NDIS plan, including informal, mainstream, community and funded supports.

Support Coordination may be one of the supports specifically included in your NDIS plan, within the Capacity Building category of supports, to assist choice and control. There are three types of Support Coordination:

  • Support Connection
  • Coordination of Supports
  • Specialist Support Coordination.

The amount of hours of Support Coordination per year does vary depending on the needs and situation of the Participant. Some people may receive 50 to 100 hours of support coordination (up to 2 hours a week) while others may have larger numbers of hours. Overall spending by the NDIA on support coordination is around 3 to 4% of the total NDIS spending.

Who should get Support Coordination?

About 4 in every 10 Participants have Support Coordination included in the NDIS Plan. This figure does vary depending on age (young children tend to get less) and which state or territory you live in. For example, 35% of Participants in NSW receive support coordination, 31% in Queensland, 42% in South Australia, and 46% in Victoria.

Participants most likely to receive support coordination in their NDIS plan include people:

  • of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage
  • with extremely low functioning, complex needs and receiving multiple supports
  • young people in nursing care
  • conditions of a degenerative nature, and supports requiring regular active management and ongoing adjustment due to the participant’s changing needs
  • with episodic mental or ill-health support needs
  • requiring regular crisis management
  • with poorly resourced families or limited or no informal support networks
  • with current or past child protection or criminal justice involvement
  • with a history of changing and challenging support provision
  • with psychosocial disability.

Participants classified as intensive or super Intensive during pre-planning receive Coordination of Supports and/or Specialist Support Coordination. It is possible for a provider to deliver Coordination of Supports and/or Specialist Support Coordination and be a participant’s service provider, but the provider must ensure they proactively manage conflicts of interest.

What does a Support Coordinator do?

There are about 1,500 Support Coordinator organisations registered with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Many of these organisations are also service providers.

Support Coordinators will help a participant to:

  • assess all the options for mainstream, community, informal and provider supports
  • implement the NDIS plan including help to choose preferred options or providers and over time increase your capacity to direct and manage your own supports and exercise choice and control
  • use the NDIS myplace portal
  • organise assessments that may be required to determine the nature and type of funding required (eg assessment to determine the type of complex home modifications required)
  • negotiate services and prices, develop service agreements and create service bookings with preferred providers, make changes to provider service agreements and help Participants understand their responsibilities
  • help decide the budget for each support type and inform plan managers how the funds will be spent
  • increase your options to link with mainstream or community services including education, health, housing and or transport. And provide advice on housing options and life transitions
  • get value for money for the supports you receive (make sure you get the full value of your plan)
  • help resolve points of crisis, problems or issues that arise
  • undertake some specialist activities including assisting with plan reviews by looking at progress towards goals, looking at new or changed goals, making decisions about value for money, assess whether they achieved their goals and got value for money for their plan, troubleshooting problems implementing the plan

Over time it is expected the NDIA will decrease its funding of Support Coordination, as people better understand how to exert control and choice in accessing supports and services.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the things that a Support Coordinator cannot provide?

  • How do I find a Support Coordinator?

  • What should I expect from my Support Coordinator?

  • What's the difference between a Support Coordinator and a Local Area Coordinator?