Trust, creativity and a good relationship key to Support Coordination success
Finding genuine, reliable support coordination for her teenage son felt like an endless battle for Williamstown mum, Maraid.
As she sought to make the most of Duke’s National Disability Insurance Scheme plan, Maraid tried out several support providers unsuccessfully and was left feeling overwhelmed.
She said it was not until she met Gateways Support Services Support Coordinator Ashesh that she finally felt supported.
‘If you don’t have someone like Ashesh, it is just so overwhelming,’ Maraid says.
‘He’s taken the time to get to know me and my family and especially to get to know Duke.’
Outside of school – which is his favourite thing – Duke, who has Angelman syndrome, enjoys dancing around the house to blaring music, motorsport races and loud engine noises or swimming with his dad.
Maraid says reliable support coordination has been vital to ensure Duke can fully participate in daily living and activities with his family in a meaningful and enjoyable way.
‘Having Ashesh means that I’m not constantly Googling to search for activities or carers. It means that when I’m at home I can focus on Duke and my two other kids,’ she says.
With Ashesh’s support, Maraid was able to double Duke’s funding enabling the family to modify their home and purchase specialised equipment.
Asked what makes a good support coordinator, Maraid says creativity, trust and a good relationship are key.
‘You need to care about the kids and take time to get to know families, you can’t just know them by looking at a computer screen,’ she says.
‘Ashesh is very good at knowing people well and recognising if a particular program would suit different participants. It’s always in the back of his head: who else would like this? Who else can I recommend this to?’
Working amongst western Melbourne’s diverse and multicultural population, making sure families from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds understand their plans is a key part of what Gateways Support Coordinators do.
‘(NDIS plans) are intimidating for a lot of families and language barriers make it even harder for them to understand,’ says Ashesh.
‘If we’re working with a Vietnamese family, for example, we have a Vietnamese Support Coordinator here at Gateways Support Services who can interpret the plan with the family. We also have three Support Coordinators from Indian backgrounds, including myself.’
For Ashesh, no matter the family, it comes down to caring deeply about helping them to get the best possible support; and the positive experience of Duke and his family is testament to that focus.
‘We know Ashesh is 100 per cent behind us and making sure we have everything we need,’ says Maraid.
‘He is always there. He’s always got your back. We’ve been so lucky.’
Learn more about Gateways Support Services’ Support Coordination Services.
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