Department of Human Services

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 listed below. Of the seven recommendations, five actions have now been completed and work is progressing to implement the remaining two.

    Recommendations Progress Report

    As at 11 February 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 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: In progress

    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:

    • Adult Safeguarding Unit – contained within the SA Health portfolio
    • 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 progressing with the following:

    • Community Visitors Scheme – legal advice being received for final review prior to clearance
    • Lifetime Support Authority – in development
    • SA Coroner – schedule yet to be finalised.

    Recommendation 5: In progress

    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.


    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 : 01 Apr 2021

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