How Afea Support Coordination helped her find a new home
At first, Justine* says, she was dubious of Daniel, her Support Coordinator from Afea, because “I had so many bad experiences” with NDIS providers.
But she needed help. Psychologically, she was going downhill fast and needed to get her and her sons out of their home in Queensland to a better living environment.
At that stage, she had already gone through three support coordinators who did next to nothing for her. One of them simply sent her a link to a real estate website.
“That was the sort of thing I was coming up against all the time,” Justine shares. “People treating you like you’re a fool.”
Afea provided a different experience.
“Daniel listened to absolutely everything and said, ‘Okay, let’s get you out of there, then.’”
In less than a month, she was moving her family interstate and into her new home. “He literally made our lives better.”
*The participant requested that a pseudonym be used to protect her privacy
‘We have three plans in this house’
But let’s start from the beginning. We ask Justine how she became an NDIS participant.
She recalls she was on the disability pension as she was living with post-traumatic stress disorder, and it “put me on the NDIS” following roll out of the Scheme.
Her sons are also on the NDIS. One of her sons lives with autism.
“I’m not just a person with a disability. I’m a mum with two kids with disability. We have three plans in this house. That’s a lot of people to deal with on the NDIS. That’s a lot of people and support workers and so on.”
Originally from Newcastle, Justine moved to Queensland and tried a lot of local providers.
“Most things in that area where I was living, I found that the services were less than satisfactory,” she says.
She has had bills charged against her NDIS funding by plan managers who didn’t render their services, providers who refused to answer her phone calls, support workers who would walk straight into her home and look through her cupboards without asking permission. “This is my home!” she recalls saying.
She knew then that she needed to move away from the area. “There are not enough services, not enough things for us to do. We’ve become quite ill here. The weather affects us as we have body temperature issues. They [the NDIA] have reports from my psychologist saying that it’s negatively impacting our health, living there. Psychologically, I was just going downhill fast.”
Years before she found Afea, she went on a three-way call with her support coordinator at the time and the NDIA, “and they told my SC, ‘You need to help her find accommodation’, and my then support coordinator said, ‘Oh, yes, yes.’
“And then in the year and a bit that I had her, my support coordinator simply sent me a link to realestate.com.au. That was it.
“That was the sort of thing I was coming up against all the time. People treating you like you’re a fool.”
‘Daniel heard me’
She found Afea through a simple Google search and eventually connected with Daniel. “The first thing I was absolutely gobsmacked about was, Daniel heard me. Most people talk over you and tell you what you need. He didn’t. The first thing he said was, ‘What can I help you with?’”
Daniel asked to read her plan, and she outlined her needs for a new place to call home: city-type area, good schools, opportunities for her teenage son, better weather.
“So straightaway he helped me on this. After I got off the phone, I actually grabbed my son and started crying. I said, ‘He’s listening to me, he’s listening to me.’ Because no one ever does.”
Finding a new home
Daniel identified suitable accommodations in Victoria and aided in Justine’s relocation by establishing connections with various services.
“I was in and out of there in less than a month,” Justine shares. “That’s finding me a house, finding schools. I have trouble reading contracts, so he was happy to read contracts and agreements, all that sort of stuff. At the same time liaising with the NDIS as well, trying to see what we’re allowed to have. He literally made our lives better.”
Justine is hopeful for the future. “Now that we have a great Support Coordinator who can link us up with everything, the goal is to use our NDIS plan as it was set out in the first place.”
Justine and her sons are now based in Victoria. After moving interstate and settling down, she goes for a walk with her youngest child at a nearby park.
“We walked past two people. I noticed this right away, but I wanted to see if my child noticed. I said to my little one, ‘Well, this is our first time going for a walk here, did you notice anything different yet?’
“He said, ‘Yes.’
“I said, ‘What’s that?’
“He said, ‘The people are friendly here and they say hello and smile at you.’”
Looking for NDIS Support Coordination?
Daniel and our team of support coordinators are friendly, dependable and will respond promptly to your enquiries. If you want to know more, reach out to our team of NDIS experts by calling 1300 65 11 33 or filling out our form.