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Better safeguards for people with disabilities

The Victorian Government is strengthening the safeguards for people with a disability and implementing the recommendations of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Abuse in Disability Services (the Parliamentary Inquiry). The Parliamentary Inquiry was set up to investigate why abuse is not always reported in the disability sector and responded to, and how abuse can be prevented.

As part of its response to the Parliamentary Inquiry, the Victorian Government is increasing the independent oversight of the disability sector by expanding the Disability Services Commissioner's (the Commissioner) inquiries into client incident reports to include client deaths.

Victoria has also agreed to the Commonwealth Government's National Quality and Safeguards Framework for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), which will establish the national safeguards under the NDIS.  Until that framework is in place, the government will continue its work to implement the Parliamentary Inquiry's recommendations and ensure the highest standards of quality and support for people with a disability.

Expanded review of critical incidents

The department currently provides the Commissioner with all Category One incident reports of:

  • injury
  • sexual assault
  • physical assault
  • poor quality of care

As of 31 July 2017, the Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing has expanded the Commissioner's review of client incident reports to include all deaths of a client in unusual or unexpected circumstances (Category One deaths) and deaths referred to the Commissioner by the Coroner where the deceased was a person with a disability who was receiving services at the time of the person’s death.

This means that as of 31 July the department will send to the Commissioner all Category One incident reports that it receives about client deaths.

The expanded referral is effective to 30 June 2019. The Commissioner's review of the Department of Health and Human Services' (the department) quarterly reports on incident reporting and quality of support reviews is also extended to 30 June 2019.

Services in scope

The Commissioner's inquiries into assault, injury, poor quality of care and deaths apply to disability services provided by the department and disability service providers registered, funded or contracted under the Disability Act 2006 (the Act).

During the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), this includes Victorian approved NDIS providers registered under the Act.

More information

For more information please contact your Local Engagement Officer.