A day in the life of a Support Coordinator
Have you ever wondered what sort of things a Support Coordinator does? We asked Donna, one of our passionate Support Coordinators in Victoria, to run us through a typical day and some of the things her job entails.
“As much as I love my customers, I want to help them become so independent and skilled at navigating the NDIS that they don’t need me anymore.” - Donna, Support Coordinator
8:00 am - The first thing that I do when I walk in the office is say hi to my colleagues and have a quick catch up over a tea or coffee. I’m lucky to work with so many skilled, passionate people and there’s always a great friendly and supportive atmosphere in the office.
Our workspace is open-plan and we don’t have any formal seating arrangements, so I find myself a free desk and get set up. After checking my calendar to make sure I’m prepared for the day ahead, I follow up on a few emails and phone calls from the day before. Normally during this time, you’ll see me slide my seat over to either my manager or colleague, to discuss any tricky things I’m working on for customers and help brainstorm some solutions. We all have different backgrounds and areas of expertise, so when we put our heads together we can really come up with some creative stuff and ensure our customers are truly getting the most from their NDIS plan.
10:00 am - Time to head out to meet a new customer, Kylie, who has just received her NDIS plan and has engaged us for Support Coordination. Having a face to face meeting with new customers is a great way to get to know their personality and situation, and helps to establish a good working relationship. I bring my colleague Jordan along so that he can meet Kylie too. Because Support Coordination is such a personal thing, it’s always good for our customers to know at least two of the Plan Partners team, so that if I’m away or busy, they feel comfortable talking with another person.
10.30 am - We talk to Kylie about what her life’s like at the moment, and where she would like it to be with the support of the NDIS. Together we read through her NDIS plan and I break down some of the more confusing sections and explain what they mean, how that applies to her and what she can use her funding for.
After running through her NDIS plan, we work on her ‘Support Coordination Action Plan’, which outlines all the activities that I plan to do for her and the things that Kylie would like to look into over the course of this plan.
12:30 am - Once back in the office, I type up a meeting summary and send it out to Kylie, so she can look over it and add to it if need be. Because there’s so much to think about during the meeting, a lot of people forget to bring up certain things or ask a question they’ve been wondering about, so following up our meeting with an email gives our customers a chance to process before anything gets started.
1:00 pm - Jordan and I head around the corner to grab some lunch and chat about some of the things we’re working on and share some interesting customer stories. We both feel very privileged to do this work and be able to support people in achieving what they want in life, but it’s hard not to be very invested in your customers and it can be emotional to see them going through hard times. Luckily, the Plan Partners team are all extremely supportive, so we often debrief with each other as a way of staying positive and focussing on the good.
1:30 pm - After lunch I have a quick chat with my manager Andrea, about a few things that came up in the meeting with Kylie that I want to get further clarification on. I also chat with Rosa from our finance team to see how Kylie will be able to stay with her Occupational Therapist, who isn’t registered with the NDIS.
2:30 pm - Two managers of a large service provider in our area pass by our office to meet Jordan and me and discuss how they could support some of our customers. In addition, we tell them what Support Coordination exactly entails. As many people do, they confuse Support Coordination, which is finding and connecting with service providers, with Plan Management, with is the financial management of NDIS plans. So it was good to give them some clarity around what we do and how both Plan Management and Support Coordination can help their customers. At Plan Partners, we deliver both services, enabling our customers to truly get the most out of their NDIS plan.
4:00 pm - Time for some calls. James, one of my customers, hasn’t received his service agreement from a service provider yet, which he needs to start receiving home maintenance support - so I want to chase this up. After a couple of phone calls I finally get them to send their service agreement to me and I can get the ball rolling. When I call James to tell him that it’s now organised, I can hear his relief. It’s those little moments that put a smile on my face and make my job so rewarding.
4:30 pm - Our helpful customer service team transfer a call to my desk. It’s Monica, a lady who has just received her first NDIS plan for her daughter who has autism. Her plan includes Support Coordination, but Monica is unclear on what this is or how it can help her daughter. She did some Googling and came across our website, now she wants to ask some more specific questions about her daughter’s situation. She’s been organising and doing everything for her daughter her whole life, so when she realises help’s at hand she gets a little bit emotional. It’s an incredible weight off some people’s shoulders to know they’re not alone in caring for themselves or a loved one. Monica asks me to send her our sign-up form, which I organise immediately.
5:00 pm - I send off my last emails and just before I switch off my computer for the day I see that Monica has signed and returned the sign up form on the spot - another new customer I look forward to work with!
I switch off my computer, say goodbye to Jordan and the rest of the team. Another productive day done - time to head home.