What does a support coordinator actually do? Will a support coordinator help you to achieve your goals? How to find one?
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
What are the things that a Support Coordinator cannot provide?
Support coordinators, like the LACs, are busy people! With this mind, there are some things Support Coordinators do not do. Support Coordinators do not:
There are rules about how Support Coordination is supposed to work, which are part of the legislation for the NDIS.
How do I find a Support Coordinator?
First you need to ask your Local Area Coordinator or NDIA Planner for Support Coordination to be included in your plan. Not everyone will receive Support Coordination.
Your initial access request and the answers you provide in the discussion with the LAC will also inform whether you receive Support Coordination. Your level of functioning and whether there are complex issues involved are also taken into account.
Once your NDIS plan is approved, and if it includes Support Coordination, then the NDIA planner makes a request to your preferred Support Coordinator organisations. These organisations will also receive details of your plan and what supports they will need to assist with and coordinate. They do not have to agree to provide Support Coordination to you, but if they accept, then a plan handover is arranged between the planner and support coordinator.
What should I expect from my Support Coordinator?
Once you have locked in Support Coordination, you need to know what you can expect from your Support Coordinator. They should:
What's the difference between a Support Coordinator and a Local Area Coordinator?
Support coordination is included in a plan if it is reasonable and necessary for the individual. Some people may have Support Coordination funded in their NDIS plan. A Support Coordinator is generally funded to strengthen a participant’s ability to connect to and coordinate with a range of more complex informal, mainstream and funded supports.
They coordinate services from a range of suppliers or providers, address service delivery issues and develop the capacity and resilience of their support network.
Support Coordination is usually funded for people with high needs or increased complexities. However, some Participants may also get Support Coordination funded in their plan if there is no LAC or ECIS available in the local area (for example a remote or very remote region in Australia).
A Local Area Coordinator works for the NDIA and undertakes planning functions, connects people with disability to the NDIS and to the community.