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NDIS Participant Sitting With Client Coordinator Using Laptop

NDIS Referrals: How a Client Coordinator Makes Life Easier

Starting support services with a new provider is often a tedious process. NDIS referrals are likely met with slow response-times, long waiting lists, confusing service agreements. Worst still, is finding out the service is unsuitable after a lengthy process.

To address this life-inhibiting bottleneck, our Client Coordinator, Johann Chong, is shedding light on this aspect of NDIS referrals. 

In this Q&A, he explains how a diligent Client Coordinator can activate the support services you want, quickly and effectively.

If you’d rather get on with life than being stuck on a waiting-list, read on:

Q1. I’m a new NDIS participant, can you explain what a Client Coordinator does?

As a Client Coordinator, I help you sign up to start services with Flexi Support! I respond to all NDIS referrals for Flexi Support’s core supports, such as personal care and social support services.

Needless to say, every NDIS referral is different and individual. One of the important parts of my job is visiting participants and having a chat to better understand their service needs. For every referral, I aim to provide a helpful response in a timely manner — generally within 5 working days.

In short, my process looks like this:

  1. You or your care team makes a request to Flexi Support to seek services
  2. I reach out to learn more about your needs and inform you if we can help
  3. I organise a home visit to complete your sign up

Q2. How do I refer an NDIS participant to Flexi Support?

You or your care team can contact us via email, phone 03 9560 3333. If you’re on social media, you can also reach out to us via Facebook.

Flexi Support accepts referrals from all NDIS participants. including those who self manage their own plan, as well as NDIA managed and Plan Managed.

Q3. I have very specific needs and preferences for Support Workers, how do you manage my requests?

A Flexi Support Client Coordinator will take you through our Intake Questions. The aim is to help you voice any specific needs, requests or preferences you have for Support Workers. 

To better understand your preferences, we encourage participants to be open and honest. However, we also understand your preferences are personal and private, and your responses are voluntary and confidential.

If requested, we can also meet with your wider care team and allied health professionals. For example, I recently attended a participant’s accomodation and had a long discussion with their House Manager. This let me better understand their preferences and find an ideal support worker.

It’s worth voicing your preferences. Tristam looks for Support Workers who show common sense and active listening. “..I almost immediately get along well with those support workers,” he says.

Q4. I have urgent needs and would like to start care services ASAP. How long do NDIS referrals take?

At Flexi Support, we aim to have an answer to your referral within 5 working days of the initial request. 

I find that NDIS participants who approach us really appreciate our fast turnaround time. Recently, I had an NDIS participant who wasn’t able to access support due to lockdown. He was getting frustrated and his family were anxious to start support services. We were able to complete his sign up online, find a suitable Support Worker and complete all paperwork within a few days and his services started almost immediately! Participant and family were very happy with the outcome.

Q5. How long is the waiting list for Flexi Support services under the NDIS?

Flexi Support doesn’t have a waiting list. 

Where there’s a suitable support worker, we aim to complete a request — including signing the Service Agreement — within 5 working days. If there’s no suitable support worker available, we generally advise within the next business day.

Really, what’s the point keeping people waiting? I’d rather help refer participants to alternate services than keep someone endlessly waiting on a list.

Q6. I need support in languages other than English, can a Client Coordinator help?

Communicating preferences for Support Workers can be hard for speakers of languages other than English.

At Flexi Support, we can help arrange interpreters for NDIS participants. We also have Support Workers from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, and wherever possible, try to match participant requests for support in their preferred language.

Q7. Are there any out-of-pocket costs to work with an experienced Client Coordinator?

There’s no cost for NDIS participants or care teams to request or refer Flexi Support services. Every request and referral is handled by our experienced Client Coordinator, which means you’ll typically get a helpful response in 5-working days.

Notably, Flexi Support doesn’t charge a signing or Service Agreement fee. Other service providers can bill a “setup fee” against your NDIS plan. A “setup fee” is worth watching out for, because it can be as much as $800!

Q8. I am currently with another service provider, can a Client Coordinator help me change providers?

There’s usually no need to change core providers as NDIS lets you engage as many as you wish. 

However, if you wish to cease services with another provider, we can work with your Support Coordinator to ensure a smooth transition.

This video from NDIS Australia shows how you have choice and control of your NDIS plan and budget.

Q9. What happens after my NDIS referral is processed?

If we have a suitable Support Worker for your referral, then we’ll set up a Service Agreement signing meeting. Ideally we would like this to be a face-to-face meeting.

During this meeting, a Flexi Support Client Coordinator will run through the Service Agreement document. We also recommend the participant to have a meet and greet with the Support Worker prior to the first shift so that they can build rapport with one another.

Services ‘officially’ start if you’re happy with the Support Worker after the meet and greet.

Q10. I have questions about my service agreement, who can I ask?

At the Service Agreement meeting, your assigned Client Coordinator will go through the documents with you. 

We go through our Service Rates, Cancellation and Emergency Booking Policy, Roles and Responsibilities When Requesting Shifts, Participant Handbook, Detailed Tasks for the shifts, and build a profile on you including your needs and your preferences for Support Workers. 

This is a good time to raise any questions or concerns you have. However, if you have questions after this meeting, don’t hesitate to contact the Client Coordinator again.

Contributor Bio:

Johann Chong
Flexi Support Client Coordinator

Johann is Flexi Support’s diligent Client Coordinator who values respect and responsibility in his role. Johann aims to make a positive difference in all his clients’ lives by providing prompt and honest responses to all referrals and requests.