Improving support coordination for better outcomes for participants

Linda Hughes

Late last year the NDIA released the Improving Support Coordination for Participants paper. The paper outlines the outcomes of the support coordination consultation in September 2020, as well as the broader strategic plan for the NDIS.
Empty space, drag to resize
A key determination was that support coordination services need to be improved to achieve better outcomes for NDIS participants. This is particularly relevant for people with complex support needs who may require a skilled support coordinator to navigate complex barriers such as getting out of aged care.

Targeted support coordination requires support coordinators to have niche skills and knowledge in particular areas such as the know-how to support a person to get out of hospital or leave aged care and find suitable housing and supports to live in the community.

Disability Intermediaries Australia recently published the Professional Standards of Practice for Support Coordinators. These professional standards set the benchmark for the delivery of skilled support coordination.

The key takeaway is that skilled and knowledgeable support coordinators are the best enablers of favourable outcomes.  They assist participants to achieve their goals, engage with services, overcome barriers, and design supports across complex systems. It is vital for support coordinators to keep up-to-date with NDIS developments as well as developments across relevant sectors.

Continual professional development ensures support coordinators are not only competent but also excel in their role supporting people with disability. In 2018 the Summer Foundation created the UpSkill program in response to the need for a skilled workforce working with people with disability and complex support needs. 

UpSkill Lead, Linda Hughes tells us: “We know that finding skilled and experienced professionals who can work with people with complex support needs is challenging. We have developed a series of workshops about navigating the NDIS and other mainstream systems to ensure that people with complex support needs are assisted to live well in the community. 95% of our training attendees told us they would improve their practice after attending one of our workshops.”