Department of Human Services

Safeguarding Task Force

    The State Government announced a 12-member task force to examine gaps in oversight and safeguarding for people living with disability in South Australia.

    The task force, appointed by the Minister for Human Services and co-chaired by Disability Advocate, Dr David Caudrey and Disability Rights Advocate, former MLC, Kelly Vincent, will make swift recommendations to the Federal and State Governments.

    Recommendations Progress Report

    Published 1st November 2020

    Recommendation 1

    That the State Government communicate the matters raised in the report to the Commonwealth Government with special reference to Safeguarding Gaps 1 to 9 , seeking a response on how these gaps must be addressed as soon as possible.

    Progress against Recommendation as at 31 October 2020

    An out-of-session (OOS) paper was distributed to Ministers on 29 September to note the Safeguarding Task Force final report and action taken in response to the report.

    Follow up through discussions at future disability ministers and senior officials meetings will ensure recommendations from the report inform national work to strengthen supports and protections for people with disability at risk of harm.


    Recommendation 2

    That the State Government address the need for vulnerable NDIS participants to have regular health checks.

    Progress against Recommendation as at 31 October 2020

    Upon review, it was identified by SA Health that this recommendation sat clearly within the remit of the Commonwealth, therefore the Chief Executive, SA Health wrote to the Safeguarding Task Force in response to this recommendation to advise this was a Commonwealth responsibility.

    Senior Officials will will be following up with the Commonwealth for an update on progress.


    Recommendation 3

    That the State Government extends the scope of the Adult Safeguarding Unit to include younger adults at risk of abuse prior to 2022, commencing with people with disabilities.

    Progress against Recommendation as at 31 October 2020

    The Adult Safeguarding Unit (ASU) remit to include vulnerable adults with disability over the age of 18 commenced 1 October 2020.


    Recommendation 4

    That DHS revisits the information sharing guidelines as they impact on screening of workers and, in particular, the availability of relevant information from the Commonwealth.

    Progress against Recommendation as at 31 October 2020

    NDIS Commission has executed information schedules with:

    • Health and Community Services Complaints Commission (HCSCC);
    • 3 with DHS (IMU and Disability and Reform agreed 10 July 2020; Screening Unit agreed 31 July);
    • Department for Child Protection;
    • Department for Education;
    • SA Health;
    • South Australia Police;
    • Office of the Public Advocate.

    Work continues to progress the schedules with the Coroner of South Australia, Consumer and Business Services and Community Visitor Scheme.


    Recommendation 5

    That the State Government reaffirms the value of a community visitor scheme as an additional safeguard for potentially vulnerable participants, acting in conjunction with relevant Commonwealth legislation.

    Progress against Recommendation as at 31 October 2020

    Senior Officials in South Australia continue to work with counterparts in the Commonwealth to identify how the scheme may continue to operate under legislative mechanisms to support vulnerable people with disability in the community.


    Recommendation 6

    That the State Government assist agencies to better provide for inclusion and to build the capacity of people with disabilities.

    Progress against Recommendation as at 31 October 2020

    State authorities were required to publish their individual Disability Access and Inclusion Plans (DAIPs) by 31 October 2020 and DHS has supported this process by establishing an online Community of Practice to provide clear advice and support for conducting consultations and reinforce legislative requirements.


    Recommendation 7

    That the State Government invest in individual advocacy to improve the capacity to assist individuals with accessing what they need from the NDIS and from the community.

    Progress against Recommendation as at 31 October 2020

    The State Budget includes $1.8m over three years for disability advocacy, which includes extension of the Disability Advocate’s role and funding for individual advocacy for three years.

    An open invitation to supply released 7 September, closed 8 October. Announcement to come shortly.


    Supplementary report

    Safeguarding Task Force Supplementary Report - September 2020

    Safeguarding Task Force Supplementary Report - September 2020 (PDF 562.6 KB)

    You can email the Task Force at disability.advocate@sa.gov.au.


    July report

    Safeguarding Task Force Report - 31 July 2020

    Safeguarding Task Force Attachments

    Safeguarding Task Force Report - 31 July 2020 (PDF 1.4 MB)

    You can email the Task Force at disability.advocate@sa.gov.au.

    Easy Read July report

    Safeguarding Task Force Report - 31 July 2020 in Easy Read (PDF 6.1 MB)

    Feedback on the July report

    The Task Force received feedback and submissions on this report until 14 September 2020. A final report was delivered at the end of September 2020.


    Interim Report

    Safeguarding Task Force Interim Report 15 June 2020 (PDF 839.8 KB)

    Safeguarding Task Force Terms of Reference

    Easy read interim report

    Safeguarding Task Force Interim Report 15 June 2020 - Easy Read (PDF 5.3 MB)

    Safeguarding Task Force Interim Report 15 June 2020 - Easy Read - no pictures (DOCX 39.4 KB)

    You can email the Task Force at disability.advocate@sa.gov.au.

    Latest News

    9 December 2020

    New advocacy service for South Australians with disability

    3 August 2020

    Safeguarding gaps actioned as final report handed down

    16 June 2020

    All taskforce interim report recommendations supported in-principle

    21 May 2020

    New taskforce members announced, work to start immediately

    18 May 2020

    New disability taskforce to be established

    Page last updated : 13 Jan 2021

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