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Gerrad Newman – NDIS Specialist Support Coordinator

1: What does your role involve?

I link our clients with NDIS services to support their needs, maximize their plan and ensure they’re getting the best possible support for their needs. These services can range from something as simple as gardening and help around the home, to more complex support like counsellors, physiotherapists, speech therapists, psychologists, access to community events and community outreach.

My job also involves working with other service providers, some of which may fall outside the range of the NDIS.


2: What do you enjoy most about your work?

I enjoy linking clients to services that they need, especially when they haven’t had much support in quite a long time. That’s a really good feeling. At Baptist Care SA, we are encouraged to empower our clients and build their independence as much as possible, so that hopefully they can rely a lot less on services in the future. Even when clients continue to need our services, it’s fantastic to see their growth along the way.   


3: What do you think are the most important things about providing a good service for our clients?

We really listen to our clients and put them first. We have a good team, which provides great advice and support. I’m fully supported by Baptist Care SA, which is important as I often work with Level 3 clients who may have complex needs. 


4: Can you give an example of a successful client relationship you’ve had/you have now?

I worked with one young man in his early 20s who had no access to the supports that he really needed. It was a challenging process as it involved gathering evidence in the form of support letters from people like therapists and psychologists, which was then reviewed by the NDIS. Once he received his NDIS plan, the client finally started to receive the support and services he needed. We managed to get him support workers, so he’s more engaged with the community. We also connected him with a cleaning and gardening service, which was great because his tenancy was at risk. We also assisted him to connect with school leaver employment support.


5: What specifically made this relationship work? What needs were met and what goals achieved?

I think its success was due to the trust we built with the client. We did a lot of listening, to find out what the client’s needs were, and we stayed in contact with all the support and service providers to ensure everything was progressing well.


6: How do you make sure your client is satisfied with the service we provide?

We always touch base with the client, asking how things are progressing and if there’s anything they feel they need that they’re not getting. Some clients are quite reserved with their feedback while others are more open. It’s important to keep the lines of communication open and to give the client the opportunity to provide feedback if they want.


7: If there are challenges for our clients, what sort of initiatives can we put in place to support them?

We try to find out what resources a client already has that we can draw from. If it’s a complex situation we might have to develop a plan, not just to determine what we can address but also what we can’t. We try to be really honest about what our boundaries are. We are committed to getting the best out of each client’s NDIS plan. 


8: We pride ourselves on working alongside our clients, at their pace – why do you think this is so important? 

We strive to make suggestions without overwhelming them so we always let the client drive the process. It’s their plan, not ours. The client has the ultimate say in what services they want and when they want them.


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T: (08) 8273 7190
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