Coordination of Supports explained

By Melanie Lanham-Amoroso, 7 June 2018 , Comments

With the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) came a raft of new terminology and supports for people with disability and their families to grapple with. Coordination of Supports is one example. If you’ve heard of Coordination of Supports, but you’ve got questions like, ‘What does it mean?’, ‘Do I need it?’, How can it help me?’, read on.

Melanie Lanham-Amoroso is Northcott’s product manager of the Coordination of Supports service. We asked Melanie some questions to learn more about the service and how it can support customers.

What is Coordination of Supports?

Northcott’s Coordination of Supports service – better known as CoS – assists customers to navigate the disability service system by providing information, advice and support with decision making.

If you are an NDIS participant, we can support you to understand your NDIS plan, and assist you to implement all the supports outlined in your plan - including informal, mainstream, community and funded supports. We can also assist you to identify and connect with other people and supports that will enable you to live the life you choose, whatever that may be.

So, in a nutshell, our team is here to assist you to build your skills and confidence so you can control your funding and supports and make informed decisions.

Where is this service available?

Northcott has CoS teams in:

  • Ballina
  • Campbelltown
  • Casula
  • Coffs Harbour
  • Dubbo
  • Hornsby
  • Hurstville
  • North Parramatta
  • Oak Flats
  • Penrith
  • Springwood
  • Tamworth
  • Taree
  • Wagga Wagga
  • Wollongong

Who would find this service useful?

Any participant in the NDIS can benefit from CoS. You may want to consider this service if you want to:

  • Feel like you are in control of your supports
  • Be more informed about your options
  • Maximise your supports
  • Feel more connected
  • Receive assistance with making decisions
  • Find supports in your community
  • Increase your skills and confidence

Can you share an example of how a customer has benefited from this service?

When Mary first accessed Northcott’s CoS service she had just received her NDIS plan and didn’t understand it. She was confused and overwhelmed. We supported Mary to understand her NDIS plan and how to use it. Mary was assigned a Support Coordinator, who sat with her and showed her how to access the NDIS participant portal, Myplace. Through a series of meetings, Mary’s Support Coordinator provided her with options for funded, mainstream and community supports that could assist her to meet her goals. Mary decided what options best met her needs and now accesses the community, attends therapy on a regular basis and has in home support. Mary also worked with her Support Coordinator to build her confidence and skills. She can now access the portal independently, research and contact service providers, understand service agreements, and manage and control the funding in her NDIS plan. With support from her Support Coordinator, Mary says that she is no longer overwhelmed and confused - she now has capacity and support to manage her NDIS plan confidently herself.  

What should I ask if I am thinking of accessing this service?

Some good questions to take along to your first meeting with a provider about a CoS service are:

  • “How can you support me to reach my goals?”
  • “What kind of support will you provide?”
  • “What experience do you have providing CoS?”
  • “Is CoS funded in my NDIS plan?”

What will be involved if I choose Northcott’s CoS service?

Your Northcott Support Coordinator will:

  • Get to know you
  • Identify and address your immediate needs
  • Unpack and explain your NDIS plan
  • Connect you with supports
  • Identify other needs
  • Assist you with long term planning
  • Identify and address any barriers you have
  • Show you how to research, connect with and monitor services
  • Identify and increase your support networks and informal supports
  • Assist you to understand what to look for in a support worker and an organisation
  • Link you to mainstream and community organisations that can support you to achieve your goals
  • Provide support with budgeting, understanding the Myplace portal and the NDIS price guide
  • Make sure the services you choose are suited to you
  • Contact your service providers to get reports on your progress
  • Assist you to preparing for your next NDIS plan
  • Support you to make use of all your NDIS funding

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