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Key Workers and Support Coordinators – their role in supporting you

Navigating the NDIS and its services can feel overwhelming, right? Each service offers a unique contribution to help people with disabilities to live to their full potential. Key workers and support coordinators play important, yet different roles in supporting people with disabilities with their NDIS plans. Let’s break down the differences between them and explain how they can help you or your child reach their goals.

The Role of a Support Coordinator

A support coordinator helps participants aged nine years and older to coordinate and implement supports in their NDIS plan and participate more fully in the community. Generally, a support coordinator will:

  1. Help you understand your NDIS plan
  2. Plan and coordinate your supports
  3. Connect you with services
  4. Establish and maintain your supports
  5. Help you to build skills to independently manage your NDIS plan and prepare for potential challenges
  6. Provide updates to the NDIA on your progress
  7. Offer support during crisis situations
  8. Act in your best interest

Different levels of support coordination are available, depending on your needs, goals and circumstances. The level of support coordination funded is outlined in your NDIS plan. These levels are [1]:

  1. Support Connection: assisting you to get the most out of your plan by connecting you to appropriate community supports
  2. Support Coordination: your coordinator will ensure a variety of supports are in place to help you build the skills to live more independently, be included in your community, maintain relationships and manage service delivery tasks
  3. Specialist Support Coordination: your coordinator will help you to manage challenges in your support environment and ensure service consistency; for those with complex life situations and needs

Your support coordinator can help you understand when you may need a formal advocate, though they should not act as an independent disability advocate for you.

Where necessary, support coordination funding will be included in the Capacity Building Budget as a predetermined amount.

The Role of a Key Worker

Key workers help children aged under nine years of age, and their families to implement their early childhood intervention services.

At Everyday Independence, our key workers work in child and families teams alongside therapists and practitioners to help families meet their child’s developmental needs.

A key worker acts as your family’s main point of contact for your early childhood intervention services. They take the lead in developing strategies to meet your child’s unique needs, bringing your child’s support team together, and making sure everyone’s working together to provide therapies and services at the right time to meet your child’s developmental needs.

Key workers focus on:

  • Building a meaningful and trusting bond with both your child and family
  • Designing and implementing strategies which include social, emotional, physical, cognitive and language developmental areas
  • Providing support that is customised to meet the unique needs of your child and family
  • Empowering your family to effectively advocate for your child’s rights and preferences

A key worker is responsible for bringing together a team of therapists and professionals to help a child with disabilities and/or developmental delays to live to their full potential.

At Everyday Independence, your child and family team may include:

Benefits of Key Workers with Everyday Independence

At Everyday Independence, our key workers are degree qualified teachers with expertise in early childhood development. Their broad understanding of childhood development enables them to understand and support the unique needs of each child.

Our key worker model offers many benefits for both your child and family. These include: 

  • a single point of contact provides consistency, which can be particularly beneficial for children who may struggle with transitions or changes 
  • all areas of your child’s life are considered, including their physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development, not just one aspect of their development 
  • the key worker leads and coordinates all the services your child needs, which can save you time and reduce stress. They can liaise with other professionals, schedule appointments, and ensure everyone is working towards the same goal. 
  • the needs of your child and family are considered when providing services and strategies that easily fit into your family’s routines and needs 
  • support is provided in the settings where your child spends their time, such as home, school, or community settings.  

Research shows that the key worker model can lead to improved outcomes for children and families, including better communication, increased satisfaction with services, and improved child and family functioning. 

In Summary

Key workers focus on establishing personal relationships, providing individualised support and building the skills of families to meet their child’s developmental needs.

Our child and family teams are ready to support your child and family as soon as you have your NDIS plan. Complete this form to begin your journey with Everyday Independence today!

References

[1] NDIS, 2021. Support Coordination. ndis.gov.au/participants/using-your-plan/who-can-help-start-your-plan/support-coordination

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