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Five ways to get ready for the NDIS: Tips from the coalface

Regional Support Worker Conference ‘At the NDIS Frontline’ banner

1/07/2016

As the NDIS begins to roll out, service providers and frontline workers alike continue to express their need for information and advice regarding transition.

In light of this, NDS has gathered some practical advice from Hunter-based support workers who have been living and breathing the NDIS for some years. Whilst it’s worth recognising that the NDIS trial and full roll-out will differ in many ways, some important tips from the NDIS frontline include:

  1. Ensure that your participants identify their current supports and areas where they have significant support needs that are not being met. A lot of support workers help their clients to develop ‘an average week’.
  2. Come up with what you might be able to offer. If you have some stories about how your support has assisted others with similar goals, even better. Also, know your skill set and that of your colleagues and try and match these skills with interests where possible.
  3. Try to empower participants and their families to think about how they can direct as much of their support as they can. Make sure participants and their families understand the support they are receiving from mainstream systems/services such as health or education as this will not be funded in their plan.
  4. Think about how you can encourage participants and their families to explore the flexibility within the plan (most support items can be swapped with others in the same support category), remembering that participants have a budget they need to stick within.
  5. Under the NDIS, time management and maximising direct support hours will become even more important. Be mindful of travel, including how you schedule your appointments and the location of the activities. Know what you have agreed in the Individual Service Agreement, remembering that this is the how, what, when and where of support and forms the basis for delivering support.

These tips were originally presented by frontline workers at the first of the three NDS Regional Support Worker Conferences organised for this year. These conferences provide a valuable opportunity for frontline workers to learn about their roles in the NDIS transformation as roll-out begins across the state. Feedback from the most recent conference in Olympic Park was overwhelmingly positive, with 93 per cent of respondents saying they would recommend it to others and the overall satisfaction rating being 83 per cent. Panellists rated both Q&A panels, one comprising frontline workers and the other senior managers both working in the trial sites, as the most valuable sessions.

In addition, NDS has compiled a Frontline Worker Issues Register, identifying the primary concerns expressed by attendees as well as suggested solutions.

Details for the next Regional Support Worker Conference

Location: Port Macquarie

Venue: Rydges, Port Macquarie 

Date: 27-28 July

More information can be found on the NDS website and you can register online.


Contact information
Henry Newton, Sector Development (Project and Administration) Officer, 02 9256 3193,