The old saying, “it takes a village to raise a child” can apply to any team effort, including your journey with NDIS.
There are many individuals, providers, and supporters involved in each NDIS participant’s life. All of these people and agencies must work together to maximise the benefits of NDIS.
This guide will help you create the ideal team for your NDIS experience, and point out some actions to take if your team could use changes.
6 ways to create a superstar NDIS support team
Your experience with NDIS depends greatly on with whom you align yourself. Here are some tips for building an NDIS support team that is with you every step of the way:
- Develop your NDIS goals and build a plan: Setting goals is an integral part of NDIS. The point of setting goals is to help participants find personal fulfillment and to achieve progress. Before assembling your support team, be aware of your goals, understand them, and focus your supports on developing skills to achieve these goals.
- Talk with people about your goals: Choose the NDIS providers carefully as your success may depend on them. For each goal, try talking to at least three providers who offer the service you need, and select one that best fits your needs.
- Have a trial period with providers: Every provider is different. Even if a group of providers have the same skillset, each of them will have different communication styles and ways of connecting with clients. NDIS participants may decide to work with providers who help them feel accepted and comfortable. This applies to everyone from a primary physician to a housekeeper.
- Create a lasting relationship: Relationships are important when it comes to NDIS success. Strive for honest, open communication with your providers, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Set expectations and put them in writing through your service agreements. Everyone benefits when expectations are clear.
- Build a team that works together: It’s wise to build a team where providers respect each other and can communicate well. Be sure to build your support group with team players as they may have to interact with each other from time to time.
- Maintain the relationship: In the context of NDIS, you’ll have the most success by finding providers who know and support your goals. Providers will feel fulfilled knowing you take your goals seriously and that you’re doing your best to achieve those goals (or being honest if a goal starts to become too much for you). Communication is always key.
How to avoid breakdowns in your NDIS relationships
It’s natural for things to not work out from time to time. It can be stressful or even embarrassing to end a relationship with a provider, but your needs - or the needs of the person with a disability for whom you’re providing care - must come first. Here are some tips for avoiding relationship breakdowns:
- Be open and honest in your communications. Even if you feel uncomfortable about bringing something up, do your best to communicate your feelings and try to work out issues as soon as they come up.
- Strive for understanding. Work together to find a mutual understanding, and be patient when someone is trying their best to help.
- Find a comfortable environment. Comfort is important for feeling at ease and for building lasting relationships. For example, if you feel uncomfortable in a doctor’s office, it may be possible to initially meet with a provider outside of their office.
What to do if you aren’t happy with a provider relationship
Remember that you have choices with NDIS. Even if you’ve been working with a provider for a long time and feel obligated to continue seeing them, you can always explore your options.
Consider taking these steps if you want to make a change:
- Talk with your local area coordinator (LAC) or support coordinator (COS), if you have one. There are always people you can consult with if you feel stuck. Reach out to your coordinators if you need help exploring different provider options or if you feel the need to make a change. These coordinators are here to help and they want to see you have a successful NDIS journey.
- Look at your other options. You can explore options on your own or with help from your NDIS plan manager too. Do your own research to find providers who may better fit your needs.
- Be open and honest. If you believe the issues with your current provider are fixable, sit down and talk with them. Be honest about your concerns and see if you can’t get back on the same page.
Moving forward with your support team
It’s a relief to have your NDIS team in place to help you on your journey. The team at All Disability Plan Management wants to ensure that your relationships are maintained. We work with participants, representatives, and providers across Australia, and our focused approach ensures that you always get independent, professional and reliable service. If you would like to know more, please get in touch with us today at [email protected]