What is a Support Broker
A support Broker works with individuals who have a disability and have their own individual funding in place. Support Brokers have to be independent of services and social care systems, with no conflict of interest. Their role is to support people with a disability, focused only on the needs of the person they are working for.
Support brokers are accountable to the person with a disability, providing assistance as required, advocating for the person and continually putting the focus of the needs of the person.
Support brokers do not have the right to change the plan or communicate with other professionals about the plan without the involvement of the person they are working for. Professional confidentiality towards the customer is part of the contract which is made between the support broker and the customer.
Who can use a Support Broker?
Support Brokers will work individuals who live with disability, physical, intellectual, sensory or other. Individuals with a disability will need to have control of their own individual funding before a Support Broker can work with them. Funding may come from different areas such as:
- HSE individual funding
- Trust funds
- Ward of court funds
- Individuals who already have individualised funding with an existing service
- Individuals with private funds
Individuals with a disability who do not have individual funding at this time
Who will for pay the support broker’s time?
The support broker will normally work with the person and their support network over a two to three month period, and this will involve a once-off cost agreed at the start. This cost is usually deducted from the person’s individual funding/paid by the funding authority or the person/family will pay privately for this service
Why use a Support Broker
Not everyone needs a support broker. Many of us need support at different times in our lives. We may need help with financial, medical, employment and other areas of life. We may get this help from our family and friends and from other people we know in our local community.
But developing and costing and implementing an individual plan takes time and energy, and the help of a professional – who doesn’t try to take over – can be worthwhile.
Most people with a disability have a history of receiving services, but don’t always receive the supports they want, to enable them live the life they want. An independent service broker will help with identifying what the person wants and where to find the supports they need, often found in the local community.
The support broker is focused only on the person and does not answer to anyone else. They are professionals working for the person to achieve the best outcomes and the best value for money.