Thinking of setting up an NDIS Individualised Living Options (ILO) project? We suggest you think again — consider what you need to manage an ILO. And set up a suitable management system before starting the project. Here’s five reasons to think about NDIS ILO management — and news about a whole-of-project ILO toolkit.
1. NDIS ILOs are long-term supports
All the essential elements of an ILO will change over the course of a project. You’ll see changes in the vision, the leadership, the supporters, the supports and the personnel implementing the support.
It all begins with an NDIS participant’s vision. A support coordinator might help apply for funding. Then a service provider might come onboard to manage supports or a living arrangement. Staff and supporters will enter and leave the project, the living arrangement might change, and the participant’s needs will change over time. If you set up a management system from the start, you’ll be better placed to keep on top of, and keep track of, all those changes.
2. NDIS ILO is about teamwork
ILO success takes cooperation between service providers, family, friends and members of the community. That means supporting leaders or stepping up as required. It takes effective and sensitive information sharing. A good system won’t let the team down. It will make cooperation easier.
3. NDIS ILO projects are complicated
‘Home’ can be a complicated idea. A whole lot of creativity, psychology and diplomacy comes into play, along with problem solving, counselling and advocacy — especially when a lot of people are involved. There are interviews, agreements, training, scheduling and police checks. Keeping track of all that is the key to success and participant safety.
4. NDIS ILO is not a ‘regular’ NDIS support.
You’ll need to be flexible and sensitive, and so will your management system. Set it up well, and it will capture the irregular along with the routine.
5. NDIS ILO involves increased risk.
Risks are more difficult to identify and manage when working with unfamiliar people and environments. ILO providers remain responsible for risk management — whatever leadership arrangement is in place. So, to protect participants and themselves, they need to set up rigorous risk management systems.
That’s five reasons why you need a management system: a system that’s simple enough for anyone to use, that guides progress along the entire NDIS ILO pathway, and tells the whole story so the vision can be passed from manager to manager, from leader to leader. It needs be flexible enough to manage the irregular events without becoming overcomplicated. And it needs to manage risk in each aspect of the project.
It’s not impossible!
When we took on the challenge of creating an ILO management system we didn’t know how far we’d get. We hoped to help providers manage risk, at least. With consultation from seasoned ILO experts, the project developed and we arrived at a toolkit that maps the entire process.
It’s not a how-to-manual. But, because it’s designed for use by participants, support coordinators and providers, it does guide the process. And it provides tools for each step along the NDIS ILO pathway. It promotes a person-centred approach and manages participant risks, information privacy and supporter capacity — if you know us, you’d expect that. If you want to know more, check out the ILO KIT product page and download the USER INFO PACK.
We encourage you to look into NDIS ILO — it’s a game changer and an opportunity to make a real difference. Managing an ILO project takes creativity, sensitivity and dedication. Support those qualities with an effective management system from the start. Hopefully this article will help you do that. System design isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and it takes a lot of time and effort. But if it helps prevent incidents, promotes effective teamwork and person-centred practice, and monitors compliance, then it’s surely worth it.