A Snapshot into the World of Support Coordinators

For anyone unfamiliar with the definition, a Support Coordinator is someone who has the right knowledge to help individuals living with disability, planning ahead with their family, the process of coordinating and more.

Role of a Support Coordinator

Support Coordinators use their abilities to guide people with special needs through the best possible ways to make progress with their support plans. All while continually developing these plans based on their changing needs, while arranging and researching the right support and services for the individual.

In general, Support Coordination agencies in New Jersey try to build the confidence and competence of the in-home care individuals they work with. That is until they are able to handle everything themselves, or with the support of their unofficial support network.

Please note for the purpose of this post, we are using New Jersey as an example, but the responsibilities of a Support Coordinator are the same throughout every state.

6 Duties of a Support Coordinator

For Support Coordinators, it’s essential to take an individual person-centered approach with each client.
Those in need of care are able to choose a support coordinator themselves or allow the DDD to assign one to them automatically; while having the chance to select a support coordination agency of their liking. The responsibilities of Support Coordinators  in New Jersey include strict adherence to the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities (NJDDD) guidelines. Here’s a snapshot into just a few of these responsibilities:

  • To provide care and support, and to listen to and communicate with the client and their family.
  • To carefully explain the Fee-for-Service individualized budget system which supports individuals with developmental disabilities in New Jersey.
  • To work with individuals with special needs and their families while constructing a support plan that gives them the best support, and then directing them to the right providers to deliver on this plan.
  • To ensure that progress is tracked via calls, house visits, reports and more..
  • To help find the right social service and care providers to deliver the care.
  • To adjust plans in line with the changing needs of the individual and their family.

Click here to learn more about Support Coordinator responsibilities.

Support Coordination Agencies in New Jersey: A Brief Summary

If you are looking for support coordination services, you must be eligible for Medicaid and approved by the DDD or Division of Developmental Disabilities. After receiving approval, you have two choices – you can choose the help of a support coordination agency or get in touch with the NJDDD and they will appoint someone for you.

A Support coordination agency will choose from a list of Support Coordinators to make arrangements with the family and the special needs individual. That is the person-centered planning process once the Support Coordinator contacts the family. A Support worker’s main job is to set out the Individualized Service Plan (ISP) of the individual and develop it over time.

There is also the option to find a support coordinator independently. There are plenty of resources available to help find an agency that might be best suited for you, for example, Selecting A Support Coordination Agency: A Guide for People With Disabilities.

New Jersey’s Division of Developmental Disabilities provides a list updated on a monthly basis with every Medicaid and DDD-approved support coordination agency in New Jersey. 

Supporting Support Coordinators

Support coordinators do excellent work in our communities, but it doesn’t come without challenges. The healthcare system can be complex, with various laws applying to different agencies on a federal and state level – combined with the fact there are many private companies offering insurance. However, it’s precisely the complexity of the system that means there’s room for innovation and change.Support coordinators and their agencies need help with various documentation tasks, supporting care workers, tracking visits and activities, processing billing, compulsory EVV verification, and more. In the past, there have been software solutions available, but the cost can mean they’re not accessible for smaller agencies.

According to Bolatito Jacobs, the Founder & CEO of Caring For Your Needs Support Services (CFYNSS) a Support Coordination Agency based in New Jersey. She named one application that made life easier at her agency:

“FieldWorker has transformed the way we work! I can track all activities, see what’s outstanding for each coordinator, see the visits & calls are taking place with proof for any audit. I can see case notes and validate them before the creation of monthly reports and any updates to the state’s i-record system. We have all the documents in one location and I can bill for payments much faster.”

FieldWorker’s platform has been designed to be used flexibly by agencies of all sizes with affordable pricing plans. Being a unique Social work case management software, It has features that make the work of support coordinators easier and more efficient. This in turn frees up their time to focus on delivering an exceptional service to their clients and more as . Learn more about FieldWorker here.

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