How to select an NDIS service provider

While the enormous range of available NDIS service providers may seem overwhelming, selecting the best option for your child doesn’t have to be a daunting process. The following tips are designed to help to guide your choice.

Cast a wide net
Consulting some key online resources is a great way to start. Websites including the Raising Children Network, Ability Links NSW and Early Links can all help you access providers of services. Some social media platforms such as Facebook can also be helpful when it comes to reading comments and reviews from other families. Remember to take a balanced approach to the views that you read on online forums.

On a face-to-face level, seek advice from your trusted health care professionals, make contact with your local playgroup or speak to families who are already using a range of service providers. NDIS local area coordinators or your local community health centre can also help link you with appropriate service options. SDN can also assist you in this regard.

First impressions
You can often tell a lot about a service provider by simply calling them. Are they welcoming? Do you get a sense that they immediately understand where you’re coming from? Are they giving you clear, concise information? Do you feel confident in what they’re telling you? Do they seem genuinely interested in you and your child? Following a call, actually meeting with a provider will give you a further sense of whether they’re really listening to understand you and your goals.

Ensuring the best fit
To ensure your provider is suitable, it’s important to ask some key questions. Do they consider the specific circumstances of your family when developing ways to help your child? Do they acknowledge that you know your child best and that you have in-depth knowledge that should guide their approach. Will they work in partnership with you and help you develop your own support networks?

Does a provider welcome anyone irrespective of their language or belief systems? Do they respect differences in family parenting styles, habits and routines and are they able to offer services that take these critical factors into account? Do they offer their information in a number of languages or access to interpreters?

An inclusive approach
Every child has the right to the same opportunities and experiences as other children. How does the provider ensure that your child can participate in every aspect of home, community and school life in ways that are meaningful to them and you.

Investing in your skills and strengths
A provider that meets best practice in Early Childhood Intervention standards should focus on developing and strengthening your own skills and abilities. Because you spend the most time with your child, these practices will mean you have many everyday opportunities to support their learning and development. Quality providers will use appropriately qualified professionals and employ strategies that are backed by research and clinical evidence.

Location, location, location!
Consider the practicalities, for instance, how far away is the provider and can you access them easily? Or maybe, like SDN, they bring the service to you, so that therapy takes place where your child lives, learns and plays. How many people will be involved in your child’s therapy? How many visits will you be making to different specialists? Or, like SDN, do they use the efficient and effective keyworker approach and provide the family with one point of contact.

For more information about why SDN is right for your family, contact us today on 1300 831 445.

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