I know I mention this a lot, but direct communication with Support Coordinators is a sure-fire way to get more referrals and a Support Coordinator thinking that you are awesome. – Emails are the best, but calls during important situations are great too. – I even receive quick texts, but I would recommend only doing this with Support Coordinators you think it is appropriate.
Obviously, you are the professionals within your field and do continuous education within that field, but are you aware of important things within the NDIS space? Things such as the Complex Pathways team, identifying if trauma specific therapies should be utilised etc?
Are you a shit hot report writer? This is an absolute winning factor and one of the most important points!
Obviously as a Support Coordinator I cannot tell you how to complete your reports, but unfortunately, we do see some absolute shockers and some absolute winners. If your reports have outcome based strategies with break downs for small individual goals included with hopeful timeframes and achievements in hopes to work towards the bigger plan goals this gives the NDIS a clearer overview of your desired approach and has a probability of a better outcome because there is a lot of chatter at the moment of ‘standard’ therapy reports.
Are your reports supplied in a timely manner and at an appropriate cost of funds? If we have a ‘standard’ report supplied with constant delays and chase up and with the practitioner charging a huge number of hours for this report it is not a good look at all.
Identification of more appropriate supports
If you are not the appropriate support or you know of a different avenue that would be more appropriate and you recommend this. You will most probably get my next referral because I trust your intentions. This has to be communicated carefully though because you do not want to minimise your knowledge by making out that you are not equipped, but communicating that the client ‘would really benefit’ from blah blah and you would be willing to discuss a change in your current service booking to allow space for the other modality or more appropriate support etc.
Are you able to support a client with flexibility? This can be in the general sense of appointment movements which granted can be very difficult, but I mean it more in the way of identifying and actioning the need for ‘out of the norm’ services. Providers that are willing and able to brain storm alternate avenues are extremely important.
Are you a practitioner that works with other modalities and supports to achieve outcomes or are you a lone ranger?
A practitioner that is proactive with wholistic approaches to support is a superstar and is extremely impressive to a Support Coordinator and the informal supports of a participant. Talk to the day programs, the schools, the Carers, the family etc.
Passion and Care
The good Support Coordinators in the industry can call bullshit just like you can call them on their bullshit. Do you genuinely care to achieve the outcomes of your client? And do you have strategies in place for yourself as reminders of why you do what you do?
We have the EAP program available for when we are needing it, but I have small, random strategies to keep me on track and things we do as a team as well.
One thing I personally do is I have a candle that I received as a gift for Xmas from one of my terminally ill children’s family. It sits on my desk at home and when I feel stressed or annoyed by the case load I have I take the lid off the candle and my senses have now attributed that smell with kindness, passion and my ‘reason why’, so when I have to deal with difficult situations for my clients this is one way I keep myself going.
What is your reason why? What is your reminder of this?
Emails & Calls
Do you return emails, calls etc. within 48 hours or even at all?
Do the client’s love you and your service
The best feedback of a great practitioner is if the client is raving about you! I have practitioners that are useless with communication and do my head in personally, but my clients rave about them and when they do communicate with me their knowledge base is quite high, so it is something I am able to grit my teeth about and work around to ensure their ongoing therapy is great for my client as the client has the choice and control to decide who they want their supports to be delivered by.
Consistently firm, but fair
There are a lot of times that a family or Support Coordinator will give demands to a practitioner i.e. the Support Coordinator may say that the family wants to use Speech once a week, if you as a speechy recommend that it is more appropriate to have once a fortnight then have the communication to educate why you have made this recommendation.
Sometimes we as Support Coordinators can be pressured by families to request times that they are wanting and it is important for us to communicate that we can mention this is a want, but we will need you as a practitioner to express your recommendations.
Stick by your standards but communicate appropriately. The same goes for if you think the client does not have enough funds. This consistency of different recommendations will have Support Coordinators trust you because if you are pumping out the same recommendations, equipment and info for each client your professional knowledge / intentions are not trusted. – If you have to recommend against something that is wanted it is really important to have a Support Coordinator thinking that it is an annoyance, but that you are correct because of the consistency of firm, but fair communication you always have with them.
If your eligible for Support Coordination, Marli and Moe can help and support your way through the NDIS.
Marli and Moe are now providing it’s support coordination services right throughout Australia. See our locations below.
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