Professional Peer Networks for “Connectors” Yes or No?

Planners, Case Managers, Coordinators & Facilitators play a crucial role when organising supports for people with disabilities and their families.

For the purpose of my brief commentary, I’m going to put all of these roles together and call them “Connectors”.

Whilst Connectors do have specific duties as part of their role they also have areas that overlap.

The one common goal for all Connectors is to help people with disabilities and their families have a better life.

Connectors experience 5 common challengers regularly based on my observations.

  • Having limited time to fully understand the needs of the clients that they support as their life changes
  • Being across the new services that are continually evolving
  • Having to continually suggest the same service providers based on their reputations, existing relationships and the level of trust.
  • Limited knowledge of evolving technologies and how they can be applied to assist clients
  • Not being encouraged to think innovatively by management due to service provider culture and risk management issues.

Interestingly, professions such as speech therapists, occupational therapists, and many other similar professions do have established peer-to-peer networks that allow discussions where similar topics are discussed.

As the National Disability Insurance Scheme evolves with new business and existing service providers rethinking their approach, we need to openly talk about the challenger’s connector’s experience.

Connectors are one of the keys for a successful roll out NDIS, so why aren’t they being supported?

When a peer-to-peer network is created, it is essential that people with disabilities are actively involved.

Choice and control will only happen if connectors are supported.

Communication

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