How to Become a Support Coordinator in Australia

How to Become a Support Coordinator in Australia

Support coordinators are professionals who help people with disabilities, mental health issues, or other needs to access the services and supports they need to live their best lives. They work closely with their clients to understand their goals, preferences, and challenges, and to connect them with the most suitable providers and resources. Support coordinators also monitor and review the progress and outcomes of their clients, and help them to make any changes or adjustments as needed.

If you are passionate about helping people and making a positive difference in your community, becoming a support coordinator could be a rewarding career choice for you. In this article, we will explain what support coordinators do, what skills and qualifications they need, and how you can pursue this career path in Australia.

What do support coordinators do?

Support coordinators perform a range of tasks and duties to assist their clients, such as:

  • Conducting assessments and consultations to identify the needs, goals, and preferences of their clients.
  • Developing personalised support plans that outline the services, supports, and funding available for their clients.
  • Researching and contacting potential service providers that match the needs and preferences of their clients.
  • Facilitating referrals and bookings for their clients to access the services and supports they need.
  • Advocating for their clients’ rights and interests, and resolving any issues or complaints that may arise.
  • Providing ongoing support and guidance to their clients throughout their journey, and helping them to make informed decisions.
  • Reviewing and evaluating the effectiveness and satisfaction of the services and supports received by their clients, and making any changes or improvements as needed.
  • Maintaining accurate records and documentation of their clients’ plans, progress, and outcomes.

What skills and qualities do support coordinators need?

Support coordinators need a variety of skills and qualities to perform their role effectively, such as:

  • Communication skills: Support coordinators need to communicate clearly and respectfully with their clients, service providers, and other stakeholders. They need to listen actively, ask relevant questions, provide clear information and instructions, and negotiate and resolve conflicts.
  • Interpersonal skills: Support coordinators need to build rapport and trust with their clients, service providers, and other stakeholders. They need to be empathetic, compassionate, respectful, and culturally sensitive. They also need to work well in teams and collaborate with others.
  • Organisational skills: Support coordinators need to manage multiple tasks and priorities efficiently and effectively. They need to plan ahead, set goals, meet deadlines, follow procedures, and keep track of details. They also need to be flexible and adaptable to changing situations and needs.
  • Problem-solving skills: Support coordinators need to identify and analyse problems that may affect their clients or service delivery. They need to think creatively and critically, generate solutions, evaluate options, implement actions, and monitor results.
  • Ethical skills: Support coordinators need to uphold high standards of professionalism and integrity in their role. They need to follow the relevant laws, policies, codes of conduct, and ethical principles that govern their practice. They also need to respect the confidentiality, privacy, dignity, and autonomy of their clients.

What qualifications do support coordinators need?

There is no specific degree or diploma required to become a support coordinator in Australia. However, employers may prefer candidates with a qualification in disability, community services, mental health, social work, or allied health. These qualifications can help you gain the relevant knowledge, skills, and experience needed for the role.

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Some common vocational qualifications for support coordinators include:

  • Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community)
  • Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability Services)
  • Certificate III in Community Services
  • Certificate III in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care
  • Diploma of Community Services
  • Diploma of Mental Health
  • Diploma of Counselling.

Some common bachelor degrees for support coordinators include:

  • Bachelor of Social Welfare
  • Bachelor of Community Welfare
  • Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
  • Bachelor of Education
  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Bachelor of Speech Pathology
  • Bachelor of Physiotherapy.

To enrol in a vocational qualification, you usually need to complete at least year 10 of high school. To enroll in a bachelor degree, you usually need to complete year 12 of high school and meet the entry requirements of your chosen university.

In addition to formal qualifications, support coordinators also need to obtain some checks and clearances before they can work with vulnerable people. These include:

  • A National Police Certificate, or police check, to show that they have no criminal record.
  • A Working with Children Check, or blue card, to show that they are suitable to work with children.
  • An NDIS Worker Screening Check, or yellow card, to show that they are eligible to work under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Some employers may also prefer you to have a driver’s license and access to a vehicle.

How can you become a support coordinator in Australia?

If you are interested in becoming a support coordinator in Australia, here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Complete year 10 or year 12 of high school. This will help you prepare for further studies and meet the minimum entry requirements for most courses.
  2. Choose a relevant vocational qualification or bachelor’s degree in an allied health field. Consider the area of support you want to work in and the level of education you want to achieve.
  3. Apply for your chosen course and complete it successfully. Make sure you gain practical experience through placements, internships, or volunteering opportunities.
  4. Obtain the necessary checks and clearances before you start working as a support coordinator.
  5. Look for job opportunities as a support coordinator in various settings, such as community health, mental health, NDIS, or family services. You can also join professional associations or networks to stay updated on industry trends and opportunities.

We hope this article is helpful to you.

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We acknowledge Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities as the Traditional Custodians of the land we work on and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We recognise that their sovereignty was never ceded.

We are committed to cultivating inclusive environments for staff, consumers, and carers. We celebrate, value, and include people of all backgrounds, genders, sexualities, cultures, bodies, and abilities.

We acknowledge Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities as the Traditional Custodians of the land we work on and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We recognise that their sovereignty was never ceded.

We are committed to cultivating inclusive environments for staff, consumers, and carers. We celebrate, value, and include people of all backgrounds, genders, sexualities, cultures, bodies, and abilities.