Selecting the right Support Coordinator for you!

When you have been allocated an NDIS plan and have funding for a Support Coordinator, choosing the one that best suits your need is probably the most important first step!

 

What is a Support Coordinator?

 

A Support Coordinator (SC) is someone who works for you to assist in bringing your goals to life.

 

The SC will seek out and coordinate supports for you, many of which will be provided by your NDIS funding, others will be accessed from your community.

 

These supports will increase your ability to manage your daily life and maintain relationships, interact in your community and gain independence. You can see why it is so important to make sure you choose the right one, for you! Not every NDIS participant will have the same values, goals or ambitions, so it’s vital that you are matched with an SC that you can rely on.

 

Let’s use a cute analogy…like coffee.

 

It can be tricky to find the right coffee for YOU. You may have three coffee shops, all on the same street! So how do you know which one will suit you?

 

One may offer seven different types of milk, plus many different dietary options when it comes to food. There may be lots of brochures pinned onto a noticeboard, and a doggy bowl of water at the door. The barista knows your name, and warmly welcomes you and your support pooch, allowing you accessibility to the counter.

 

Another coffee shop may have the same as above, but they are so busy you don’t think you’ve gotten the right order. There are always different baristas, and the footpath where you would prefer to sit with your dog doesn’t have any shade.

 

The last coffee shop might be incredibly popular, with delectable treats and live music, outdoor dining and lots of room for pooches, but terribly slow service. They are friendly and the coffee is exceptional, but you are time poor and it just doesn’t quite fit. You then notice across the road, there’s another cafe opening. Oof!

 

Option overload becomes overwhelming.

 

You simply can’t try them all. It’s just not plausible to try before you buy in each cafe, there are just too many!

 

The same applies for Support Coordinators. There are likely hundreds of them, just ask google! (…or don’t 🤣). Keep in mind that you do have the ability to change Support Coordinator should things not work out as planned, or your chosen SC isn’t providing support for your needs.

 

What if I told you there was an easier option than trial and error? There are some simple steps you can take when you’re in the initial stage of choosing a support coordinator that will help you narrow things down, to find the person right for you, and your circumstances.

 

So what do you look for?

 

Connection

Do you feel as though you have a connection, where you are valued as a client? The SC you choose will be your guide, navigating the confusing NDIS landscape to set you up for success.

 

It’s imperative that you feel a sense of trust in your professional relationship with them.

 

Consistency

Your NDIS plan is a daily, ongoing agreement that will include day-to-day interactions and frequent communication between yourself, your support providers and your SC.

 

Gauge how reliable and predictable your SC is when it comes to responding within an appropriate timeframe, following through on actions and consistently checking on the status of your supports.

 

Contactable

There will be times when you need to reach out to your SC for advice, support or assistance.

 

Does your SC get back to you in a timely manner? Do you feel genuinely supported in response to any issues you may be experiencing?

 

Commitment

A SC, by default, is an industry providing assistance to others. Does your SC listen without conflict to your needs and tailor supports to best reflect your circumstances?

 

You may need supports they had not encountered before, and a good SC won’t bat an eyelid about making that happen for you.

 

Contingency

Even Support Coordinators have illness, unforeseen circumstances or holidays as part of the human experience. What does your SC have in place should they need to take time off?

 

Having a small team on hand for these circumstances ensures your needs are still being met whilst your SC is away.

 

Customer Commendation

It’s often a good sign when an SC is able to share client reviews with you, or you’ve learned of them via word of mouth -the best currency of all time!

 

Capacity 

If the first cafe option up the top was packed to the brim with customers, you may need to reconsider the other options. Similarly, the SC you choose must have capacity to accommodate you as a client.

 

You need to feel supported in your decision and comfortable in the many communications you will share, so choose an SC who has that capacity.

 

Competence

Lastly, your SC must know their way around the NDIS, and keep up with any changes to policy or terms. The most successful Support Coordinators are those that are solution-focused and eager to seek alternatives and/or substitutes when met with challenges.

 

After all, you are hiring this person to be your guide to navigate the tricky NDIS landscape, so they need to be familiar with the different routes and destinations to get your lifestyle supported the way you need, to enable you to thrive.

 

Now! Let’s go grab that coffee, and pat some pooches…🐕🐩☕