Direct Support – What is it? 

Direct Support is assistance provided by a Support Assistant (Support Worker) to help with everyday activities, help at home or help to access the community and participate in activities of interest. Muddy Puddles have a team of Support Assistants who are trained to provide safe and supportive assistance to children and young people, in line with their individual goals.

Direct Support may occur in a variety of environments, such as, in the community, in the home, at the Muddy Puddles Centre, and more. Support is usually one to one (1:1) (i.e. one Support Assistant to one Client) but can change depending on the client’s needs and goals. 

What we can provide

 

Before Direct Support is provided we will ask you to complete a form that tells us what support you need, why you need it and a few other details that we need to know so we can provide the support safely. Support is tailored to the needs of the person with disability. The activities provided during Direct Support must be in line with the NDIS Plan and the goals for the participant. A Shift Plan is created that guides the Support Assistant so they understand what can and cannot be provided during the shift.

What we can't provide

Support Assistants must follow the Shift Plan when they are providing supports. They are not able to provide an activity that is not in line with the Shift Plan. Muddy Puddles Support Assistants can't provide support to other family members unless it is specifically directed in the Shift Plan. If they are asked to do something that is outside the scope of the Shift Plan, for example, transport a parent to the shops or look after siblings of a client, they will refuse. There are a couple of reasons that this policy is in place. Firstly, as a registered NDIS Provider, we are only able to provide reasonable and necessary supports for the participant using NDIS funding. The other reason is that our insurance covers the services we provide to Clients, and does not extend to activities outside the scope of our services.

How do I pay for Direct Support?

 

This service is usually funded from the ‘Core Support’ budget of an NDIS Plan. This type of funding can be used to help with everyday activities, community participation and to work towards goals. In your NDIS Plan you will see Core Supports broken down into Assistance with Daily Life and Assistance with Social and Community Participation. These are the budgets you can use for Direct Support from Muddy Puddles.

Timeframes for arranging Direct Support 

 

On average there is a one month processing time between receiving a request for support and commencing the support. This month is used to complete risk assessments, develop shift plans, allocate staff to the support shifts, conduct client specific training, plan activities and book the use of the Muddy Puddles van if required. 

 

Communication 

 

All communication regarding shifts (for example, cancellations, changes, special requests) should be via email to support@muddypuddles.org.au or directed to the Support Phone number 4415 1008. 

If the shift is cancelled by Muddy Puddles at late notice, we will call you directly. 

 

Costs

 

Direct Support shifts are charged per hour according to the NDIS pricing arrangements, with a minimum charge of two hours. There are additional costs associated with providing the service, such as travel time, reimbursement of travel costs (such as per kilometre charges), time to write shift notes, and time to plan the shifts and conduct risk assessments. Read on for more information. 

 

Planning of direct support shifts 

At Muddy Puddles, we strive to provide high quality, safe supports for our clients and team members. To ensure supports are appropriate, safe and align to NDIS goals, we develop a shift plan to document what will occur during the shift and conduct a risk assessment on all activities. 

Expected time taken to develop the shift plan: 1 hour (this is charged at the direct support rate; if we think it will take more than 1 hour to plan for shifts, we will let you know in advance). 

 

Shift times

The minimum duration for a Direct Support shift is two hours (this could include face to face and non-face to face time). 

A standard weekday shift is between 6.00am and 8.00pm. Shifts outside these times are charged at higher rates, including: 

  • shifts occurring in the evening (8.00pm – 12.00am) or overnight (12.00am – 6.00am)

  • shifts occurring on Saturday and Sunday

  • shifts occurring on a public holiday

Please see the NDIS Pricing Arrangements for more information. 

 

Shift notes 

In accordance with the NDIS Practice Standards, our team members are required to keep up to date records for all shifts. To allow for note writing time, 15 minutes will be added to the end of the shift. 

 

Cancellations 

Last minute cancellations will be charged in accordance with the cancellations policy found on our website. 

Any cancellations within two business days prior to the shift are considered last minute cancellations. These will be charged at 100% of the rate.

 

Kilometres and travel time 

If a Support Assistant is transporting a client in a vehicle during a shift, a per kilometre fee will apply (as per the recommended charge in the NDIS Pricing Arrangements). 

The time taken to travel to a shift or to pick up a client will be be charged in accordance with the NDIS Pricing Arrangements. 

 

Costs not covered by NDIS funding 

Incidental costs incurred during a support shift are not covered by NDIS funds. These costs include meals, entertainment, entry fees and other costs of recreational activities. These are out of pocket expenses and need to be planned for and paid by the participant. If these costs are a barrier to accessing the supports you need, please discuss this with your Key Contact. 

 

If you have any questions about this information, please call our office on 4472 6939 and speak to our
Team Leader – Support