NDS clarifies queries on NDIS Support Coordination
In response to member concerns, NDS has recently clarified a number of queries regarding NDIS Support Coordination with the NDIA.
Support coordination is a capacity building support to implement all supports in a participant’s plan, including informal, mainstream, community and funded supports.
- The ability of support coordination providers to provide other supports
- Internal directives for NDIA and Local Area Coordinators (LACs) when assisting a participant to choose their support coordinator
- Expectations of support coordinators
While it is the NDIA's preference that support coordination providers not provide other supports, senior NDIA managers have confirmed that support coordination providers are able to provide other supports at this stage. However, providers need to have a robust conflict of interest policy in place if they choose to deliver both support coordination and other supports. This may include: separating support areas, creating different policies and processes for support coordination, developing procedures to mitigate conflicts of interest, recording the choices provided to participants, and ensuring there is a clear separation of support coordinators and service delivery employees.
The NDIA has advised NDS that NDIA Planners/Local Area Coordinators (LAC) will actively assist participants to consider a variety of support coordinators. Participants will be supported in their planning discussions to understand the implications of accessing a support coordinator who provides other supports.
The NDIA has assured NDS that participants' choice and control will not be restricted, nor will they be told that they are not able to access a particular provider. This is aside from a number of participants, with very limited informal supports, for whom the Agency may determine the need for independent support coordination; for example, someone living in a group home without family or connections and with supports provided by only one organisation.
It is noted that NDIA have indicated that they will be monitoring the impact of their support coordination policy in terms of the spread of service delivery providers selected by participants.
We also note that the NDIA intends for approximately 20-30 per cent of NDIS participants to receive funding for support coordination. Other participants will receive support via their LAC. It is understood that some regions in Victoria may currently have a higher percentage of participants with support coordination, and for this reason providers may need to expect a reduction of support coordination in plans in these regions. These may include NEMA and Barwon.
The NDIA has also raised some concerns that support coordinators are not engaging with participants in a timely manner or following directives stipulated in the 'Request for Service.' Providers are advised to provide reports to the NDIA and make contact with the participant as indicated in the 'Request for Service.' The NDIA has stated that providers are generally expected to make contact with participants within five working days and provide an initial report by eight weeks.