This guide provides information about what happens during an NDIS planning meeting, how NDIS plans are approved and plan management options. Refer to the Overview for important contextual information about these guidelines and the NDIS. These guidelines are dynamic and will be regularly updated to reflect a changing NDIS model and procedures as the Scheme is implemented.
Important information and action for OOHC casework staff in this guide includes:
Important information for Child Protection casework staff and Early Intervention staff includes explaining Support Coordination and plan management options to the child or young person’s family, reviewing the finalised plan when it is received (with consent) and agreeing case coordination roles and responsibilities.
When it is time for a person to move into the NDIS, an NDIS representative will contact them (or their representative if they are under 18), by phone or by letter to confirm their eligibility for the Scheme and arrange a time to have a conversation about their first plan. For children or young people under Parental Responsibility to the Minister, the NDIS representative will contact the Manager Casework (CSC or CFDU) to arrange the planning conversation.
For children or young people under Parental Responsibility to the Minister, casework staff arranging the planning meeting with the NDIS representative should request a face-to-face meeting and must also attend the planning conversation as the child or young person’s representative. It is the responsibility of casework staff to ensure the carer is invited to attend the planning conversation along with the child or young person. Where Parental Responsibility is shared between the Minister and another person or persons, both parties should attend.
Further information about the planning process can be found at Starting my plan.
During the planning conversation, an NDIS participant will have the opportunity to talk about their life, the supports they receive now and any additional supports they need. The child or young person should be supported to actively participate in the discussion and decisions relating to their disability support. They will also discuss their current goals and any goals they want to work towards in the future. Based on this, the participant’s plan will then be tailored to reflect their individual circumstances.
If the child or young person has a Health Management Plan it should be provided to the NDIS participant during the planning meeting to inform discussion of the child or young person’s support needs.
The NDIS is designed so participants have choice and control over their lives while ensuring appropriate safeguards are in place to protect participants from harm, abuse, neglect or exploitation. Safeguards refer to a range of supports and mechanisms that ensure safety and wellbeing while supporting a person with disability to have a good quality life and reach their potential. These could include personal relationships, community connections, or formal mechanisms such as regulations.
The planning conversation and the development of the individual support plan is an opportunity to identify risks and any safeguards that the NDIS participant may require, and discuss plan management options. The NDIS representative can enhance existing safeguards the participant has, identify ways to enhance their capacity to minimise risk, and discuss other formal safeguarding mechanisms that they might wish to access.
The NDIS representative will use the participant statement and other information gathered during the individual planning process to develop a plan of supports that meets the needs of each individual NDIS participant.
For a support to be funded it needs to be linked to an outcome that has been identified in the participant’s plan and it also must either:
For more information about reasonable and necessary supports, see: What are reasonable and necessary supports?
The types of supports that the NDIS may fund for participants include:
Aids and equipment (referred to as assistive technology) are typically identified as needed however the planning conversation provides an opportunity to discuss and include known assistive technology needs over the length of the NDIS plan.
The NDIA will consider, amongst other matters, whether the assistive technology is related to a participant’s disability. Before including any assistive technology support in a participant’s plan, the NDIA must also be satisfied that the support will assist the participant to pursue their goals, objectives and aspirations.
Where a particular type of assistive technology is being considered, the NDIA may seek expert assessment and assistance to be provided by a person with appropriate qualifications and experience in that particular type of assistive technology. Generally, a written report detailing clinical reasoning and justification of recommended assistive technology is required prior to approval of funding for complex, high risk or specialised assistive technology.
The NDIA may provide funds for a participant to receive necessary expert assessment or assistance with selection, fitting, configuring and training where these services are not otherwise available as part of the purchase price or part of the standard service offering. However, the NDIA will not reimburse participants for any costs associated with obtaining assessments or examinations which were not directly requested by the NDIA.
FACS and NGO casework staff have expertise in case management for child protection and OOHC. However, they are not necessarily well placed to undertake the role of choosing, engaging and coordinating disability supports or managing the expenditure of supports under an NDIS plan.
FACS and NGO OOHC casework staff should ensure they request support coordination be included in the child or young person’s plan and specify the level of Support Coordination they are seeking. It should be explained to the NDIS representative that they will not be in a position to provide coordination of disability specific supports or be best placed for ongoing NDIS plan management.
Refer to Plan Preparation and Plan Process for further information about the levels of Support Coordination available.
Early Intervention providers and FACS Child Protection caseworkers working with families who are about to undergo the NDIS planning process should ensure the option for the NDIS to include Support Coordination and Plan Management as part of the NDIS plan is explained to the family.
For further information about the responsibilities for participants (or representatives) coordinating supports and managing plan funds themselves, refer to Choosing and Managing Service Providers.
NDIS participants (or their representative, if under 18 years) choose how to manage their plans. For children or young people in Parental Responsibility to the Minister, casework staff as the ‘child’s representative’ will be responsible for choosing the plan management option. Managing a plan can happen in a number of ways and wherever possible the participant and their representative (if under 18 years) will discuss the best option for managing the plan during the NDIA planning discussions. There are a number of ways plans can be managed, including:
There are a number of important factors that should be considered when choosing a plan management option, including the:
For children and young people in statutory OOHC, casework staff should request to have NDIS plan funds managed through a registered plan management provider or NDIA managed.
For families participating in Early Intervention programs or assigned to a Child Protection caseworker, NGO Early Intervention service providers and FACS caseworkers should ensure the option for the NDIS to include support coordination and plan management as part of their NDIS plan is explained to families.
After a participant’s planning conversation, all the information they have provided will inform their NDIS plan which then goes through an approval process within the NDIA. Once the plan is ready, the NDIS representative will contact the participant (or their representative) and let them know how they can use it. For children or young people in statutory OOHC, the casework staff member who attended the planning conversation will receive a copy of the final NDIS plan.
A copy of the plan should be placed on the child or young person’s FACS/NGO casework record. For FACS staff, the plan needs to be attached to KiDS. NGO OOHC providers will need to provide a copy of the NDIS plan to the CFDU for them to attach to the child or young person’s KiDS record. Refer to the Record a Referral for NDIS procedure for recording NDIS information in KiDS.
OOHC casework staff need to review the plan when it is received to understand what supports the NDIS will be funding for the child or young person. If OOHC casework staff form a view that a support has not been funded that should be funded based on evidence provided to the NDIS, they should discuss with their manager whether the issue should be raised with the NDIA locally or referred to the FACS NDIS issues escalation pathway or a review of a decision requested. Refer to Appeals and Review of Decisions for further information
Child Protection casework staff should review the NDIS plan, if the parent/carer consents, to understand what supports the NDIS will be funding for the child or young person. If the Child Protection caseworker is concerned that support is not adequately funded in the plan, or missing from the plan, discuss with your manager to determine whether it is appropriate to raise the issue with the NDIA locally, refer it to the FACS NDIS issues escalation pathway or request a review from the NDIA and work with the child or young person’s family to make the request. Refer to Appeals and Review of Decisions for further information.
If Support Coordination and Plan Management are not funded in the plan and the Caseworker is concerned the parent/carer will not be able to implement the plan, they should discuss with their manager to determine whether it is appropriate to request a review to seek Support Coordination and Plan Management.
Child Protection and OOHC casework staff will need to engage with and agree case coordination roles and responsibilities with the NDIS Support Coordinator (if Support Coordination is funded in the plan) or with the individual disability service providers if Support Coordination is not funded under the plan.
The Myplace Participant Portal is a secure website for participants (or their representative if under 18), nominees and contacts who are approved to view and direct NDIS plans and, where applicable, to make self-managed claims online.
Once a participant (or their representative), nominee or contact is listed, the NDIA will work with the participant to choose who has access to the Myplace Participant Portal.
A Myplace Participant Portal User Guide can be accessed here: Participant Portal User Guide
If you have a question about the NDIS and Early Intervention, Child Protection and OOHC email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you encounter a situation with the NDIS that differs from these guidelines and needs clarification, speak to your manager to determine whether the matter needs to be raised with the NDIA locally or go through the FACS NDIS issues escalation pathway for resolution.