The NDIA has released the ‘Improving Support Coordination for NDIS Participants’ paper. The paper outlines the outcomes from reviewing the current support coordination model in the context of both the consultation process and broader strategic design of the NDIS.
It clearly outlines the role of a support coordinator and the next steps the NDIA will take to improve support coordination for participants. It is expected that clarity on the role of support coordinators will drive more consistent, quality outcomes from support coordination services.
The Paper and its accompanying website content provides a clear, structured outline of support coordination that will be helpful to those new to the role and as a resource to support conversations with participants and families.
Consultation feedback broadly agreed on the 4 key roles of a support coordinator:
- Help participants connect to NDIS and other supports.
- Build a participant’s capacity and capability to understand their plan, navigate the NDIS and make their own decisions
- Broker supports and services in line with participant wishes and their plan budget
- Monitor plan budgets and support effectiveness.
The safety and wellbeing of participants should underpin everything that a support coordinator does. A range of new and updated information on support coordination for participants and providers is also available.
What happens next?
The consultation feedback helped identify where the role of the support coordinator was unclear. It also helped pinpoint the next steps to improve support coordination for participants.
With the sector, the NDIA will:
- educate support coordinators on their roles
- lift quality by encouraging better engagement with existing quality standards
- lift quality through a range of initiatives led by the Australian Government and the broader sector
- support those who wish to develop specific expertise.
The NDIA will also work with the sector to address conflicts of interest that may be impacting participant outcomes.
The Paper points to a range of initiatives that may help resolve some of the other issues raised through the discussion paper including an upcoming Support for Decision Making policy, updates to the Home & Living Operational Guidelines, workforce initiatives and the pricing review.
As part of the Annual Pricing Review 2021-22, considerations are:
- the current tiers of support coordination pricing
- the experience and skills required to deliver quality support coordination services
- how pricing can best encourage innovation, improve quality of service and ensure value for money for participants
- how to avoid introducing further complexity
- how to deliver higher quality outcomes for participants with the most complex needs.
The NDIA vows to continue work with the sector to deliver consistency and equity in planning outcomes (including support coordination).