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Safeguarding Task Force

In May 2020, the State Government announced a 12-member task force to examine gaps in oversight and safeguarding for people living with disability in South Australia.

In July 2020 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, made seven recommendations to address the 14 safeguarding gaps identified.

The Government’s response to the Safeguarding Task Force recommendations is recorded here.

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

Future Safeguarding for People with Disability Interim Report September 2021

The Future Safeguarding for People with Disabilities - Discussion Paper delves into potential ideas, programs, services and possible legislative changes that could be introduced to further safeguard people living with disability.

Common questions to explored in the discussion paper include:

  • How can parents make provision for their son or daughter with a disability so that they will be well cared for after the parents are no longer around?
  • Who can be relied upon to care that a person with a disability is OK if parents are too frail or have passed away?
  • What role do circles of support play in future safeguarding of people with disabilities?
  • What role can siblings play when parents are no longer around and what supports might they need?

The interim report is open for consultation until 3 December 2021.

Future Safeguarding for People with Disabilities - Discussion Paper Interim Report.pdf (596kb)

A final report, including any recommendations, is expected to be handed down to the Minister in December.

To find out more about the discussion paper and the consultation, visit the Disability Advocate page on the Office of the Public Advocate website.


Recommendations Progress Report

As at 22 April 2021


Recommendation 1: Completed

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.

An out-of-session (OOS) paper was distributed to Ministers on 29 September 2020 to note the Safeguarding Task Force final report and action(s) taken in response to the report.


Recommendation 2: Completed

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

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.


Recommendation 3: Completed

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.

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


Recommendation 4: Completed

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.

Information sharing arrangements have been established with the following:

  • Consumer and Business Services
  • Department for Child Protection
  • Department for Education
  • Department of Human Services
  • Health and Community Services Complaints Commission (HCSCC)
  • Office of the Public Advocate
  • Public Trustee – informal arrangements established
  • SA Health
  • South Australia Police

Information sharing arrangements are in the final stages of completion with the following:

  • Community Visitors Scheme
  • Lifetime Support Authority
  • SA Coroner.

Recommendation 5: Completed

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.

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: Completed

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

The Inclusive SA Annual Report 2019–20 details actions taken to assist agencies to better provide for inclusion and to build the capacity of people with disability.


Recommendation 7: Completed

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.

Uniting Communities has been awarded $1.2 million (over three years) funding to deliver the new, statewide advocacy service to ensure vulnerable South Australians with disability can access and receive the supports they need. Read the media statement — "New advocacy service for South Australians with disability".

In addition, the State Government has committed an additional $600,000 to continue the work of the Disability Advocate.

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Final report July 2020

July report

Safeguarding Task Force Report - 31 July 2020

Safeguarding Task Force Attachments

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

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 report was delivered at the end of September 2020.


Page last updated : 10 May 2022

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