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NDIS local area coordinators for children and families

18 April 2023

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has brought significant changes to the way disability support services are provided in Australia. One of the most important roles in the NDIS scheme is that of a local area coordinator (LAC). In this blog post, we'll explore what an NDIS local area coordinator is, how they can help you and your child, how to access them, what to consider before meeting them, and how they differ from other NDIS support services like plan managers and support coordinators.

What is an NDIS Local Area Coordinator?

An NDIS local area coordinator is a person who works for an NDIS Partner delivering Local Area Coordination (LAC) services. Their role is to provide assistance and support to children and families with a disability who are accessing the NDIS scheme. The NDIS LACs are typically allied health professionals or social workers with a background in disability support.

How can an NDIS Local Area Coordinator help you and your child?

The role of an NDIS LAC is to help families navigate the NDIS process and access the services and supports that their child needs. They can provide guidance on how to develop a plan that reflects the needs and goals of the child, and help you find service providers that meet those needs. Additionally, they can help you understand how to use your child's NDIS plan and how to make changes to it when necessary.

An NDIS LAC can also help you connect with local community supports and services. They can help you find support groups, recreational activities, and other services that can help your child and your family thrive.

How do you access NDIS Local Area Coordinators?

To access an NDIS LAC, you can contact an NDIS partner organization in your area. They will provide you with an LAC who will work with you and your family throughout the NDIS process. The NDIS partner organization can also provide you with information on the available services and support options in your area.

What to think about before seeing your child's NDIS Local Area Coordinator

Before meeting with your child's NDIS LAC, it's important to consider the following:

  1. Identify your child's needs: Think about the needs and goals of your child, what kind of supports and services they require, and what your long-term objectives are.
  2. Prepare your child's documentation: It's essential to gather any relevant information, medical reports, assessments, and any other documentation related to your child's disability. This information will help the LAC understand your child's needs better.
  3. Ask questions: Prepare a list of questions that you would like to ask your child's NDIS LAC during the meeting. It can be helpful to know more about the NDIS scheme and the support services available in your area.

How is an NDIS Local Area Coordinator different from a Plan Manager or a Support Coordinator?

An NDIS LAC is different from a plan manager or a support coordinator. While an NDIS LAC focuses on helping families understand the NDIS process and connect with the right services, a plan manager handles the financial aspects of your child's NDIS plan. They manage the budget and pay the service providers on behalf of the family. A support coordinator, on the other hand, helps the family coordinate and implement the support services included in the child's NDIS plan.

In conclusion, an NDIS local area coordinator can be an invaluable resource for families with a child with a disability. They can provide assistance and guidance throughout the NDIS process and help families connect with the right services and supports for their child. Before meeting with your child's NDIS LAC, it's important to consider your child's needs, prepare relevant documentation, and have a list of questions to ask. It's also important to understand the differences between an NDIS LAC, plan manager, and support coordinator.