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Support Coordination 101

We meet a lot of organisations who are confused about Support Coordination. What is it? Who can provide it? How does it work?

By Evie Naufal

Updated 15 Apr 20249 Feb 2017

We meet a lot of organisations who are confused about Support Coordination. What is it? Who can provide it? How does it work? In this article, Evie answers some of the most frequently asked questions we get about this mysterious but critically important support category:

WHAT IS SUPPORT COORDINATION?

Support Coordination is an NDIS funded support that is designed to support participants to make the most of their NDIS funds. Once a Plan has been approved, participants work with Support Coordinators to determine how their funds will be spent and to connect with providers. At its best, Support Coordination is about:

  • facilitating expansive conversations about what is possible with a person’s NDIS funds
  • building capacity to exercise choice and control
  • supporting participants to navigate the NDIS marketplace and find support options that are the best option for them

 

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SUPPORT COORDINATION?

Level 1: Support Connection
There has never been a great description of what the difference between Support Connection and Support Coordination is. These days, Participants who would have once received Support Connection typically get their plan implementation support from a Local Area Coordinator (LAC). When Support Connection is put in plans (very rarely), it is usually either an error or funded because an LAC did not have capacity to delivery any support.

Level 2: Coordination of Supports
This is where the vast majority of Support Coordination is funded. This roles here include (but are not limited to):

  •   Understand the Plan;
  •   Connect with Supports and Services;
  •   Design Support Approaches;
  •   Establish Supports;
  •   Coach, Refine, Reflect;
  •   T argeted Support Coordination;
  •   Crisis: Planning, Prevention, Mitigation and Action;
  •   Build Capacity and Resilience; and
  •   Report to the NDIA.

Level 3: Specialist Support Coordination
Specialist Support Coordination is very rarely put in Plans and sometimes appears as only a small proportion of the overall Support Coordination budget. It is supposed to be delivered within a specialist therapeutic framework.

A Participant will only be funded for Specialist Support Coordination if there a specific high level risks in their support environment e.g. complex behavioural challenges or interactions with the criminal justice system. Specialist Support Coordination may also involve development of an intervention plan which will be put in place by disability support workers.

 

CAN ORGANISATIONS PROVIDE BOTH SUPPORT COORDINATION AND OTHER DIRECT NDIS SUPPORTS?

Yes. Providers can offer both services as long as they can demonstrate effective strategies to mitigate the conflict of interest.  However, we expect that this decision may again be changed in future and would advise providers against developing business models that relied on delivering both Support Coordination and direct supports to the same people.

 

WHO GETS SUPPORT COORDINATION FUNDING?

Not every participant is funded for Support Coordination but everyone can ask for it. If you want Support Coordination in your Plan, be sure to mention it in your planning meeting. Typically, Participants who go through the planning process with an NDIA Planner (rather than an LAC) are far more likely to be funded for Support Coordination.

Update: This question is explored in more detail in this 2020 article by Sally Coddington.

 

HOW MANY HOURS OF SUPPORT COORDINATION DO PEOPLE TYPICALLY GET FUNDED FOR?

There is no simple answer to this question. We have heard participants getting anywhere between 12 hours to 200 hours per year. As with all other supports, if participants go into the planning meeting with a very clear goal for how they will use their funded supports, the Planner will have a much easier time approving them.

 

DO PARTICIPANTS GET FUNDED FOR SUPPORT COORDINATION EVERY YEAR?

Support Coordination is intended to be a time limited, capacity building support, where the person’s skills are built up to the point where they no longer need a Support Coordinator. For some people, this will mean they only need funding for one year. For others, this capacity building will continue for a long time (maybe forever!). The important thing is to ensure that it is focused on skill building (and reporting on progress!) if it is needed, it is requested at each plan review meeting.

Authors

Evie Naufal

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