INDEPENDENT CHOICES: A National Symposium on Consumer-Direction and Self-Determination for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities. Thinking About Support Broker Roles


As service systems increasingly embrace the principles and practices of self-determination and individual funding, people are looking at the roles of those who have been traditionally known as case managers or service coordinators. The expectations that many had of service coordinators in the late '70s and early '80s have been buried under increasing numbers of people to support and endless paper to complete. As we change from service coordinators to support brokers (or whatever new label is adopted), we have the danger of just changing the labels without changing what happens. Unless the underlying structures are changed, including reducing the volume of paper and the numbers of people each support broker works with, the changes in roles and expectations needed to achieve self-determination are doomed. Real change needs to begin with an understanding of the desired outcomes and then move to developing the structures to support it. We need to begin by asking what do support brokers need to know and do?