Case Management

What’s the difference between Case Management and a Specialist Support Coordinator?

Since the introduction of the NDIS, many people have struggled to understand the difference between the role of a Case Manager and a Specialist Support Coordinator.

Believe me we have struggled with this too!

So we can only tell you what we see as the difference, having now been providing both services to different client groups.

Traditionally case managers have performed a role similar to that of a ‘project manager’ and have been responsible for bringing together all services working with a person who has sustained an injury or disability to co-ordinate and evaluate a cost-effective plan that encompasses the person’s individual goals.


The Case Management Society of Australia and New Zealand defines Case Management as:

“Case management is a process, encompassing a culmination of consecutive collaborative phases that assist clientsto access available and relevant resources necessary for the client to attain their identified goals.  Key phases within the case management process include: client identification (screening), assessment, stratifying risk, planning, implementation (care coordination), monitoring, transitioning and evaluation.  Within the case management process the Case Manager navigates each phase of the case management process (as applicable) with careful consideration of the client’s individual, diverse and special needs, including aspirations, choices, expectations, motivations, preferences and values, and available resources, services and supports.  Despite the validity of the modern argument that the use of the term “Case Manager” is outdated and implies that clients are “cases” to be “managed” the term “Case Manager” continues to be an internationally accepted title to identify individuals who engage in the role or function of facilitating the case management process”.

From our perspective the NDIS expects the Specialist Support Coordinator role to only be allocated to individuals with complex health situations and that this role is to be temporary as the NDIS focuses heavily on ‘natural supports’ (family and friends).  Ultimately the Specialist Support Coordinator is expected to educate and empower the participant of the NDIS to take on the responsibility of ultimately managing their own services.  The NDIS also do not expect the Specialist Support Coordinator to act as an advocate for the participant and a separate advocacy service should be sought if this is required.

Many of our private clients however don’t want to take on a case management role as they find it time-consuming and tiresome and would rather spend their time on activities that are more meaningful and enjoyable.  Others simply do not have the cognitive capacity to take on the role, nor do they have family or friends that can help.  In these cases, the ‘case management’ role can be long-term and episodic, based on the persons need.  Many of our private clients have utilized professional case management services for over 30 years.

If you have Specialist Support Coordinator funded in your NDIS plan it is important to know that the goal of the NDIS is to ultimately empower you to manage your own plan and resources.

It’s also important to know that Case Management or Specialist Support Coordination services can only be provided by a person with a tertiary qualification.

Lighthouse Health Group can provide both Case Management and Sspecialist Support Coordination Services

Why not chat with us and see if we can assist you or answer any of your questions about Lighthouse Health Group’s Case Management Services