I’m Renee Zwikielberg from Guardian Advocacy
We began Guardian Advocacy because our family has several participants utilising the NDIS.
Our experience with DVA, NDIS and Work Place Insurers, demonstrated to me in particular that clients of these systems, need help to navigate and advocate for what they are entitled to.
My background in Finance, including Private and Commercial banking Relationship management, of up to 250 clients at a time, has helped me to write submissions, have funding approved and attend to day to day requests of clients as and when they arise.
HOW CAN I HELP YOU?
Ultimately that choice is yours.
I aim to build yours, and your participants skills and knowledge so you
are able to advocate for yourselves in the future.
This is based entirely around what you want and need.
My services are tailored around:
Advocating for funding
Help finding providers
Being a sounding board
Writing NDIS Submissions and reviews
Ensuring you understand your funding
Liaise with providers to write reports
Attend meetings with NDIA and providers
and implement service plans focused on your goals
Ultimately, my goal is to help you to have the skills and confidence to
advocate for yourself in the future.
So, What is advocacy?
The word advocacy comes from Latin and means “to be called to stand beside”.
Advocacy is helping a person to be heard in the decisions that effect their life.
Advocacy aims to increase a persons control over their lives.
What is a Support Co-Ordinator?
To be honest, when our participants started with the NDIS, I didn’t understand this myself.
We help you to:
Understand and implement funded supports
Build skills & grow a participants knowledge and confidence
Manage and advocate for yourself in the future
Connect to providers
Can I get Support Coordination if I self-manage or plan manage my NDIS plan?
YES. The way you choose to manage your plan has no effect on whether you receive funding for support coordination.
Funding for support coordination is decided by what is considered reasonable and necessary for each participant.
What are the 3 different kinds of Support Coordination?
There are three levels of NDIS support coordination that can be included in your plan:
This support is to build your ability to connect with informal, community and funded supports enabling you to get the most out of your plan and achieve your goals.
Otherwise called Coordination of supports, this support will assist you to build the skills you need to understand, implement and use your plan.
A support coordinator will work with you to ensure a mix of supports are used to increase your capacity to maintain relationships, manage service delivery tasks, live more independently and be included in your community.
Specialist Support Coordination
This is a higher level of support coordination for people whose situations are more complex and who need specialist support.
It may be provided by a professional with an Allied health background or someone with Psychological expertise.
In the same way that regular ‘Support Coordination’ helps bring your NDIS plan to life by connecting participants to providers, Specialist Support Coordination achieves the same goal but addresses more complex support needs.
It's important to note that funding for Support Coordination is not meant to be permanent, so you may not receive this funding in each plan. A Support Coordinator will help build your skills and capacity over time.
Can a Support Coordinator come to my plan review meeting?
Support Coordinators can attend planning meetings (and be paid to do so), so long as they are not there as an “advocate”.
This is because The Department of Social Services funds organisations through the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) to provide advocacy support services to assist participants when engaging in NDIA processes.
If you need an advocate for an NDIS plan meeting, use the Disability Advocacy Finder. This is an online tool to help you find an advocacy organisation in you area.
How do I choose the right Support Coordinator for me?
It is really important to get a support coordinator who has the skills and knowledge to support you and it is equally important to feel comfortable with them.
• What do you know about my disability?
• What are some of the local supports that you would recommend to me in my situation?
• How will you communicate with me and my family?
• Will you charge me for travel?
• Will I see invoices before you submit them?
• How will you track my progress toward reaching my goals?
• How will you support me to learn the skills to become more self-sufficient so that I can manage my own supports?
• What is your feedback and complaint management procedure?
• What would be your plan if I get myself into crisis?
Do I need a Service Agreement with a Support Coordinator?
Yes, a support coordinator is like any other service provider and so needs a service agreement before starting their engagement.
Before signing a service agreement, you would decide whether they are the right fit.
Just like starting with any new provider, you can ask them questions that will help you make a decision on whether you will use them as a provider or not.
Below are a few items to include in your service agreement:
• What are their prices? What is included? How will they charge you?
• Do they wish to discuss a notice period for ending an agreement?
Remember, you have choice and control in the supports you receive. This means you have the choice over who provides your supports and how they are provided.
GUARDIAN ADVOCACY CLIENT TESTIMONY
"Guardian Advocacy have exceptional skills in providing advice to people. They go to great lengths to understand the person they are working with and tailor solutions to meet their needs. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience plus great people skills. I highly recommend Guardian Advocacy."