There are three level of Support Coordination that can be included in an NDIS plan – Support Connection, Support Coordination or Specialist Support Coordination. While Support Connection and Support Coordination provide a good base for building your capacity, some participants may need a little extra assistance to connect with providers and to implement and manage their plan. This is where Specialist Support Coordination can help.
What is specialist support coordination?
Specialist support coordination is considered to be the highest level of support coordination available to NDIS participants. This type of support coordination is usually for participants who have more complex needs and require a higher level of support. It can also be for a participant in a crisis situation.
Specialist support coordination is provided by an allied health professional who can assist you to manage challenges that arise in your support environment (e.g., health, education or justice services) to ensure a consistent delivery of supports and services. Your specific needs help to determine the specialist support coordinator, which can include an occupational therapist, psychologist, social worker or another type of qualified professional. The aim of specialist support coordination is to reduce barriers that are preventing participants from implementing or using their NDIS plan.
Who is eligible?
If you have complex support needs, you may be eligible for specialist support coordination. During your planning meeting or your plan review meeting, it’s a good idea to discuss specialist support coordination with your LAC or NDIA planner. That way, your LAC or NDIA planner can make a recommendation for specialist support coordination (if relevant) to be included in your NDIS plan. If you believe you need specialist support coordination and it wasn’t included in your plan, you can request to have your plan reviewed early. This can be a lengthy process, so be sure to do your research first before requesting an early plan review.
What does a specialist support coordinator do?
Your specialist support coordinator can assist with all the same things that a regular support coordinator can. However, unlike a regular support coordinator, they can provide necessary additional support.
Your specialist support coordinator can:
Connect you with relevant services and supports
Help you negotiate your service agreements
Set up appointment bookings for you
Help you to understand and make the most of your NDIS plan
Manage challenges in your support environment such as access to education, health or justice services
Reduce barriers that are preventing you from implementing or using your NDIS plan as intended
Help you to build your capacity
Your specialist support coordinator can develop an intervention plan to be implemented by support workers (if necessary).
Where to find a specialist support coordinator
One of the best resources for finding a specialist support coordinator is to discuss this with your LAC or Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) partner. They may be able to connect you with a specialist support coordinator to suit your needs. Other resources are Google, Facebook groups and other disability focused forums, and recommendations from people you know.
Some good questions to consider or ask a specialist support coordinator before engaging them:
Is the person accredited and registered in their field?
Do they have the appropriate training specific to your support needs?
Do they have experience working with people with similar needs as yours?
Are they well connected to NDIS supports and other networks?
Are they caring, empathetic and understanding?
Including specialist support coordination in your NDIS plan may be time limited. This means that it may only be included for a set amount of time to help you overcome specific barriers around implementing your NDIS Plan or accessing supports.
Support coordinators at any level are there to help you implement your NDIS plan. However, when it comes to making decisions, that is up to you. Remember, it's your plan, your way.
Read more about the benefits of working with an independent, professional Plan Manager. Alternatively, contact our friendly team on 1300 322 273 or firstname.lastname@example.org.