What’s the Difference Between a Support Coordinator and a Specialist Support Coordinator?

16th January, 2024

Understanding and navigating your support requirements and service needs can be complicated. However, with the right assistance, individuals can find the necessary help that is beneficial to their success. Two crucial roles within the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) are Support Coordinators and Specialist Support Coordinators. While both positions aim to assist participants in achieving their goals, there are distinct differences between them. 

Support Coordinator (SC)

A Support Coordinator plays a fundamental role in helping NDIS participants understand and implement their plans effectively. Their primary responsibility is to work closely with individuals to identify their goals, assess their needs, and connect them with appropriate service providers.

A Support Coordinator acts as a bridge between participants and the available support services, helping them make informed decisions about their care. Barkuma’s Support Coordinators are dedicated to empowering individuals to navigate the NDIS system, access community services, and achieve their personal objectives.

Explore the Support Coordination services offered by Barkuma, a leading disability service provider.

Specialist Support Coordinator (SSC)

A Specialist Support Coordinator takes on a more specialised and targeted role, specifically designed to assist individuals facing complex challenges or unique circumstances that require a higher level of expertise. They bring in-depth knowledge and experience to address intricate needs, ensuring that the participant’s plan is not only implemented but tailored to their specific requirements. Barkuma’s Specialist Support Coordinators can help people with complex situations by giving them extra support and guidance to overcome difficult challenges.

Explore the Specialist Support Coordination services offered by Barkuma, a leading disability service provider.

Key differences between Support Coordinator (SC) and Specialist Support Coordinator (SSC)

  • Expertise Level
    • SC – offers general support and guidance
    • SSC – possesses specialised expertise to address complex needs
  • Scope of Assistance
    • SC – assists with general plan implementation and service connections
    • SSC – focuses on tailored solutions for participants with high support needs
  •  Target Audience
    • SC – suitable for a broad range of participants
    • SSC – targeted for individuals with complex challenges

Understanding these differences is crucial for participants to make the most of their NDIS plans. While Support Coordinators provide valuable assistance to many, the specialised expertise of a Specialist Support Coordinator becomes invaluable for those facing unique hurdles.

Barkuma’s Support and Specialist Support team

Barkuma’s Support and Specialist Support Coordinators have more than 20 years of experience. With qualifications in Developmental Education and Social Work, the team are experts in providing comprehensive support.

Looking to the future: proposed changes to Support Coordination

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Review has investigated the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities and their families in navigating the complex landscape of both mainstream services and the NDIS. It has highlighted issues such as overlapping roles among various support entities, gaps in assistance, and insufficient support for those with complex needs.

The proposed solution, to be implemented from 2025, is the introduction of a new role called a “Navigator.” Navigators are envisioned to possess local knowledge and aid all people with disabilities, whether NDIS participants or not, in accessing foundational supports and connecting with mainstream services.

The suggested roles include General Navigators, Specialist Navigators, Psychosocial Recovery Navigators, Housing and Living Navigators, Shared Support Facilitators, and Lead Practitioners for children and families.

The goal is to create a connected support system that includes accessible mainstream services, foundational supports, and NDIS-funded individual support, with Navigators directed by the interests of people with disabilities.

Barkuma is committed to addressing change by engaging with individuals with disabilities, their families and other stakeholders.

In collaboration with Barkuma, participants can trust that both Support Coordination and Specialist Support Coordination services are designed with a commitment to individual empowerment, ensuring that each participant receives the level of support that aligns with their distinct needs and aspirations. With the right coordination, individuals with disabilities can confidently pursue their goals and lead fulfilling lives.

For more information, call Barkuma on (08) 8414 7100 or visit barkuma.com.au/support/