Setting NDIS goals for your planning meeting

Knowing how to set appropriate NDIS goals is super important if you are applying to the NDIS and if you are going in for a plan reassessment.

Once you have been accepted into the NDIS scheme, you will attend a planning meeting with an NDIS representative called a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or NDIA planner. The LAC/NDIA planner will ask you to provide Goals (both short term and long term) that you need supports and funding from the NDIS to achieve.

You may also be coming up for a plan reassessment and your circumstances or stage of life has changed and you have NEW goals that you want to achieve.

This resource will help you understand:

Why setting goals is important

The primary aim of your planning meeting is to understand what goals you would like to achieve and any disability specific barriers that prevent you from pursuing these goals. The NDIA then looks at how the funds can be used towards supports that will address your disability support needs. There are some things to remember when setting goals:

  • Setting more and bigger goals doesn’t mean we’ll fund more and bigger funded supports.
  • Setting a goal doesn’t mean we have an obligation to fund supports that help you pursue that goal.
  • Setting a goal about an explicit type or amount of support you might want doesn’t mean we have an obligation to fund that support or in that amount.

How do I choose my goals?

Often choosing a goal is the hardest part, when you just don’t know what you should be asking for or how to write it down. The goals will ultimately help determine what your funding looks like, and whilst having specific goals can help you get supports – this doesn’t leave as much room for flexibility in the types of supports you can engage with.Think about what’s most important to you and your child and shape your goals around this.

Use this list to think about all the aspects of your life and what is really important to you. It may be:

  • finding and keeping a job
  • improving relationships
  • independence in daily living
  • confidence in money management
  • doing more social and recreational activities
  • improved health and wellbeing
  • building confidence around public transport or learning to drive
  • learning something new
  • where you want to live, or
  • improving communication and managing behaviours

Our top tips for setting goals

  • Use age-appropriate goals: Think about the things children their age usually do. Does your child have any unmet needs compared to other typical children their age? for example, at 6 years of age this may be to go to the toilet or getting ready for school, at 18 years of age this could be to cook food for themselves or getting a job (building independence)
  • Use NDIS buzz words: social participation, community integration, building independence, choice & control, reasonable & necessary, capacity building core/primary supports
  • Keep them broad: it’s less about choosing specific supports/services, but about choosing a broader goal that will allow you to choose from many services that can help you achieve these goals
  • Discuss supports for parents/carers keep this focused on your child or the person you support i.e. ask for support that will help you support your child to develop skills and build age appropriate skills such as parent and carer training/courses/therapies
  • Focus on key areas the NDIS funds: keep this focused on your child i.e. ask for support that will help you support your child to develop skills and build age appropriate skills such as parent and carer training/courses/therapies. These key areas include: mobility, communication, social interaction, learning, self care and self management
  • Ask others: ask your child’s therapists, family member and parent with a child of similar age and disability if they are happy to share their goals. There are a number of great NDIS Facebook groups where parents are happy to share their goals.

How to write great goals

There are two main things to consider when writing your goals

  1. Think about WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU OR YOUR CHILD?:  This may be trying new things, making friends, managing meltdowns, expressing or talking about your feelings, getting a job, being independent and taking care of yourself
  2. Think about HOW YOU WOULD ACHIEVE THESE THINGS? This might be by participating in community hubs/classes/courses, integrating in social settings, learning how to communicate and speak more clearly, behaviour management, gaining employment skills or building strength and fine motor skills,

NDIS GOAL = What’s important + how you would achieve this

Examples of goals (what does a goal look like?):

There are two main things to consider when writing your goals

  • I want my child to engage in more social and community groups so they can try new things.
  • Zoe wants to build her social & communication so she can build and maintain age appropriate relationships
  • I want to learn how to manage my behaviours and understand my emotions so I can express myself better.
  • Jack wants to build his communication & employment skills so he can get a job
  • I want my child to build their fine motor and communication skills so they can be more independent

Examples of what supports these relate to?

  • Improve Communication – Speech Pathologist, Psychologist, Counsellor, Animal/Art/Music therapist
  • Community Participation – Community Hub (meeting place), Skill groups/clubs/camps
  • Social Integration – Social groups, Support Workers, Clubs/Camps
  • Manage behaviours and emotions – Psychologist, Counsellor, Animal therapy, Occupational Therapist Music or art therapists
  • Build fine motor skills – Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist
  • Build independence – Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Support Worker, Community & Social Activities

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