Support Coordination is the current fourth largest support category by spend, larger than Assistive Technology.
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has designed the new role of support coordination to generally be used during the first National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan or during a major life transition such as moving to supported accommodation. This means that support coordination is a time-limited support intended to be a capacity-building role.
Support Coordination hours are usually removed or substantially reduced in subsequent plans unless there is a case that can be argued to have it to be continued. It is still up to the planners at the review meeting to determine if support coordination should continue during the next plan.
Unlike case management which is a continual service, support coordination is meant to build up people’s capacity to coordinate their own supports to participate in the community in the near future. This might pose some flaws to the system given some life-long symptoms of people with disabilities who will be unable to coordinate their own supports. There is a risk that the funds for support coordination may not remain beyond the first year.
How to build capacity in support coordination
- Giving choice and control. Allowing clients to make their own decisions giving a variety of quality providers. At the same time not giving too many options that might confuse the client. 2-4 options should suffice.
- After the client has been connected with supports, getting them to contact the providers directly to arrange appointments (if the client is able to).
- Encourage the client to find providers and supports that they are keen on working with through their own
- Strength-based approach to encouraging the client to take the lead of coordinating their own supports (if the client is able to).
- Coordinating supports that might help them learn to be more independent, IT support.
- Letting the client know that their support coordination funding might decrease in the next plan and the support coordinator’s jobs are to get the client ready to manage the next plan.
- Getting available informal supports involved in coordination.
ADVICE FOR PROVIDERS
Work with an end in mind. For some, support coordination is not meant to last for a long time. It is very likely that in the subsequent plans funding decreases greatly or is negated. The longevity of the role comes from having a big client base and getting constant new referrals.