TIPS: For selecting a service provider
The following are some things to keep in mind when choosing a service provider.
Know and explain what you want
Ask yourself “How would I like to be supported to reach my goals?”
Say things like “I will need help every morning with getting dressed and preparing my meals” or “I need someone who can accompany me to the shops for my groceries on a weekly basis.”
Ask things like “How can you help me to create the kind of life I want?” or “How will you help me in ways other than just having service centres and providers for companionship”?
Look around and talk to others
If you have online access you might like to look at:
- Websites related to your particular needs, hopes and dreams
- Facebook pages and other social media; reading some of the forums and comments of others often helps to narrow down who might be the best choice for you.
Ask people that you trust
- Your GP or other healthcare professional
- Families that use similar services already
- Friends in your social settings; playgroups, book clubs, exercise groups, church groups
Trust your feelings
Ask yourself “Do I think they really meet my needs?”. The NDIS participants that helped us create this website told us that their feelings and instincts about an organisation or worker were a good guide. If they felt comfortable with a worker or organisation that was good, and if they felt unsure or uneasy that was not good.
Remember that you are buying their services with your NDIS funds and you can shop around to find a service that suits you.
- How did they speak to me and anyone around me when I met with them?
- Do they seem to listen and understand me?• How did they make me feel?
- Do they understand my dreams and goals and suggest how they could help me reach them?
- Did they try and put me off my goal?
- What sort of information did they provide?
- Did they seem genuine and interested in my needs?
- Did they provide me with useful information that was relevant to my situation?
- Did they answer all my questions?
- Is it clear what they offer and how I can access it?
About the services they provide
- How will my strengths and challenges be considered?
- What research is your approach backed by?
- How flexible do I need to be?
- How flexible are you going to be to meet my needs?
- How many different people will you send to work with me?
- Will your staff be consistent?
- How many points of contact will there be? Who are my key contacts if I need to make changes or have questions or concerns?
- Can you provide references from people using your services?
About their services
- How do your services meet my requirements?
- How will you be innovative to meet my needs?
- Do you have mental health peer workers?
- How do service users get to help shape your services? For example, do you have consumer and carer representatives on your Board of Management?
- How do you get feedback about your services?
- How do you evaluate to see if your services are helping people?