1. What does your role involve?
My role involves helping the NDIS participants to understand their plan, connect them with supports and services of their choice in the community, discuss their goals and support their NDIS Plan reviews. I ensure that participants are developing their capacity to navigate the NDIS processes and terminology too, to help their own choices and decision making.
2. What do you enjoy most about your work? Why do you work in a disability team?
I enjoy having contact with the clients as well as their carers. I love listening to their experiences and stories. For example, a client being able to have their first shower in as many years instead of a sponge bath. I know I’ve contributed to this good news story just by doing my job as a Support Coordinator to help their case with NDIA, in requesting home modifications funding within the plan. I work in the disability area because I am passionate about seeking change in the treatment and service delivery for people living with a disability. I learn something new, something different with every client I get the opportunity to support.
3. What do you think are the most important things about providing a good service for our clients?
A good client service is where the client’s voice is heard and the client feels listened to. Too often providers of supports and services act on what they think is best or should happen for a person living with disability. Good client service is also where they are being looked after well through quality services, not making the service all about money.
4. Can you give an example of a successful client relationship you’ve had/you have now?
I view a successful client relationship as one where clients feel they can trust me to support them and make a difference in their lives. For example, a young client wanted support to secure suitable and affordable housing in his desired area and establish connections in the community. We worked together to complete housing forms and attend housing inspections as well as the social and recreational activities of interest. With support he has secured social housing and has joined a few social group activities. He is now working towards getting his driver’s license and looking for work.
5. What specifically made this relationship work? What needs were met and what goals achieved?
What made the above client relationship work is the balancing of power. The client and I worked together, not me working for the client. The client was empowered to make decisions in an informed manner. I focused on the client’s strengths. In fact, I approach my work with every client in this manner. All clients have capabilities irrespective of their disabilities they present with. Acknowledging their limitations but focusing on their strengths is a good place to start Support Coordination work.
6. How do you make sure your client is satisfied with the service we provide?
I conduct regular client needs and service delivery assessments to ensure the client is satisfied with the support they are receiving. Where required changes are made to ensure client satisfaction.
7. If there are challenges for our clients, what sort of initiatives can we put in place to support them?
Conducting a client risk assessment and having a risk management plan in place would help us to have thorough understanding of our clients support needs. Person-centered as well as trauma based approaches to care, are critical in the NDIS-funded model of service delivery. Having adequately trained and competent staff who are able to respond to client care needs in an appropriate and expected manner are crucial to supporting challenges experienced by clients. Staff supervision, training and professional development are necessary supports too.
8. We pride ourselves on working alongside our clients, at their pace – why do you think this is so important?
We work with a vulnerable group of people who are living with a disability. Their vulnerability creates the power imbalance in the service delivery. In order to have a successful working relationship with our clients and cause effective, meaningful change in their lives, it is important to have a power balance which, enables both sides to listen to each other and have an honest and respectful client-service provider relationship. I add that a client chooses Baptist Care SA not Baptist Care SA choosing the client.
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