Department of Human Services

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    9.1 Glossary

    9.1 Glossary

    Commonly used acronyms and terms from the report.

    Acronyms

    ASU

    Adult Safeguarding Unit

    CVS

    Community Visitor Scheme

    DHS

    Department of Human Services

    ILC

    Information Linkages and Capacity Building Grants

    LAC

    Local Area Coordinator

    NDIA

    National Disability Insurance Agency

    NDIS

    National Disability Insurance Scheme

    OFAW

    Office for Ageing Well

    SAPOL

    South Australian Police

    SDA

    Specialist Disability Accommodation

    SIL

    Supported Independent Living

    UNCRPWD

    United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

    YPIRAC

    Younger People in Residential Aged Care

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    Terms

    Bilateral (Intergovernmental) Agreement

    Signed agreements between the Commonwealth and the State detailing the operational and funding arrangements for the NDIS.

    COVID-19

    A respiratory illness caused by a new virus. The virus is transmitted from person to person and there is no current treatment or cure.

    Complex Support Needs Pathway

    Specialised support for participants who have other challenges impacting their lives such as mental health issues, incarceration or homelessness and need a higher level of specialised support in their plan.

    Dept.- Health and Wellbeing (DH&W)

    Responsible for setting the strategic direction for the delivery of health services in South Australia.

    Health Performance Council SA

    Statutory Ministerial advisory body to provide advice to Minister for DH&W on the performance of the State’s health systems.

    Medicare Benefits Scheme

    A listing of the Medicare services that are subsidised by the Australian government managed by the Department of Health.

    National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline

    A nationally accessible service designed to aid the reporting of abuse and neglect of people with disability in Commonwealth, State or Territory funded disability services.

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    NDIS Code of Conduct (NDIS Providers)

    Promotes safe and ethical service delivery by setting out expectations for the conduct of both NDIS providers and workers.

    NDIS Rules

    Legislative instruments made under the NDIS Act that set out in detail the operation of the NDIS.

    NDIS Participant

    To be a participant of the NDIS you must meet the following access criteria:

    • Are aged under 65 when the access request is made
    • Are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or special category visa holder
    • Satisfy either permanent or significant disability or early intervention requirements
    • Need support from a person or equipment to do everyday activities.

    NDIS Funding

    There are three options to manage your NDIS Funding:

    • Self-Management: When you manage your funding
    • Plan Managed: A plan manager is funded through your plan and pays your provider
    • NDIA (Agency) Managed: NDIA pays providers on your behalf.

    NDIS Unregistered provider obligations

    Not all providers need to register with the NDIS Commission.
    Only self or plan managed participants can engage an unregistered provider and:

    • Can individually decide if they want workers of unregistered providers to have a NDIS Worker Screening Check
    • Will be able to make unregistered providers and their workers aware of their obligations under the NDIS Code of Conduct.

    The NDIS Commission can support people to make a complaint against an unregistered provider.

    NDIS Q&S Commission

    An independent agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services.

    NDIS Worker Screening

    NDIS Registered Providers must ensure that particular workers have an appropriate check as a mandatory requirement of registration. Risk assessed roles are:

    • Key personnel roles
    • Work in the delivery of specified supports or specified services (NDIS Practice Standard –Worker Screening) Rules 2018

    Roles that require physical, face-to-face contact and oral, written and electronic communication.

    Office of the Public Advocate SA

    Independent statutory office of the South Australian Government that exists to promote the rights and independence of people who may need assistance with decision-making.

    Psychosocial Disability

    A psychosocial disability is when mental illness becomes pervasive and interferes with a person’s functioning.

    Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of people with Disability

    Established in April 2019 in response to community concern and gathers information through research, public hearings, submissions and other forums. Final report to be delivered on 29 April 2022.

    Support Coordination

    • Support Connection: To build your ability to connect with informal community and funded supports enabling you to achieve your goals
    • Support Coordination: Assist you to build the skills you need to understand, implement and use your plan
    • Specialist Support Coordination: For people whose situations are more complex, to assist you to manage challenges in your support environment and ensuring consistent delivery of services.

    Visitable sites

    As defined in each jurisdictions Community Visitors Scheme Legislation.

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    9.2 Safeguarding Task Force Members

    9.2 Safeguarding Task Force Members

    David Caudrey

    Disability Advocate
    Co-chair

    Kelly Vincent

    Disability Rights Advocate
    Co-chair

    Trevor Harrison

    Disability Advocate

    Jacky Chant

    Disability Advocate

    Sam Paior

    Founder and Director
    The Growing Space

    Karen Rogers

    Project Lead
    Our Voice

    Marj Ellis

    Chief Executive Officer Lighthouse Disability

    Richard Bruggemann

    Authorising Officer
    Attorney General’s Department

    Anne Gale

    Public Advocate
    Office of the Public Advocate

    Adam Kilvert

    Executive Director Attorney General’s Department

    Cassie Mason

    Director, Office for Ageing Well, SA Health

    Lois Boswell

    Act/ Chief Executive Department of Human Services

    9.3 Terms of Reference

    9.3 Terms of Reference

    Purpose

    The Safeguarding Task Force is a Task Force to examine the current gaps in oversight and safeguarding for people living with disability in South Australia.

    The Task Force is co-chaired by Disability Advocate Dr David Caudrey and Disability Rights Advocate Kelly Vincent. Membership will include people with lived experience of disability, family members, a service provider as well as relevant government agencies, including the acting Principal Community Visitor Anne Gale.

    The Task Force will consider gaps in safeguarding arrangement for people with disabilities in South Australia arising from the policies and practices of:

    • the National Disability Insurance Agency
    • the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
    • State Government instrumentalities.

    The Task Force seeks to consider the gaps from a developmental, preventative and corrective perspective.

    The Task Force will provide written reports including recommendations to the State Government regarding areas that need to be addressed urgently in order to safeguard South Australian citizens with disability.

    Methodology

    • Brief Task Force members prior to the first scheduled meeting.
    • Seek information and advice from Task Force members, their networks and from other people who contribute to the Task Force deliberations
    • Collate all information received and identify themes for rectifying policy and procedures for safeguarding
    • Prepare and submit an interim report with urgent recommendations by 15 June 2020
    • Prepare and submit a final report with full recommendations by 31 July 2020.

    Membership

    The Safeguarding Task Force is comprised of:

    • David Caudrey, Disability Advocate (Co-chair)
    • Kelly Vincent, Disability Rights Advocate (Co-chair)
    • Sam Paior, Founder and Director, The Growing Space
    • Trevor Harrison, Disability Advocate
    • Jacky Chant, Disability Advocate
    • Karen Rogers, Project Lead, Our Voice
    • Marj Ellis, Chief Executive Officer, Lighthouse Disability
    • Richard Bruggemann, Authorising Officer, Attorney-General’s Department
    • Anne Gale, Public Advocate and Acting Principal Community Visitor
    • Adam Kilvert, Executive Director, Attorney-General’s Department
    • Cassie Mason, Director, Office for Ageing Well, SA Health
    • Lois Boswell, Acting Chief Executive Department of Human Services.

    Meeting Frequency

    The meetings will be held via Microsoft Teams on:

    • Wednesday 27 May 2020 at 4:30 pm
    • Wednesday 10 June 2020 at 4:30pm
    • Wednesday 15 July 2020 at 4:30pm.

    Agenda and Papers

    The Safeguarding Task Force agenda, with attached meeting papers, will be distributed at least 5 days prior to each scheduled meeting.

    Minutes and Actions

    The minutes of each Safeguarding Task Force meeting will be prepared by the Secretariat which will comprise Diane Holty and Sandra Wallis from the Office of the Public Advocate.

    Minutes will be circulated in draft to each member of the Task Force prior to the next meeting and approved at that meeting subject to any modifications deemed necessary.

    Reporting

    The Co-chairs are required to provide a preliminary report to Cabinet by 15 June 2020 and a final report to Cabinet by 31 July 2020. A draft of the preliminary report will be prepared for the Task Force meeting on 10 June 2020 and a draft of the final report on 15 July 2020.

    Approval

    David Caudrey (Disability Advocate) and Kelly Vincent (Disability Rights Advocate)

    9.5 Meetings with key people

    9.5 Meetings with key people

    This page lists people Kelly Vincent and David Caudrey met with to inform the safeguarding reports.

    Meeting notes have only been published where the meeting attendees have given their permission.

    Lines with an asterisk show meetings have occurred but we have not received permission to publish the meeting notes.

    For a hard copy of documents, email disability.advocate@sa.gov.au.

    Meetings held with:

    9.6 List of submissions

    9.6 List of submissions

    Submissions to the Safeguarding Task Force were received from:

    • the Disability Advocate in-box
    • the Minister for Human Services' Office
    • the Premier’s Office.

    The authors have given permission to publish their submissions.

    For a hard copy of documents, email disability.advocate@sa.gov.au.

    Submissions


    9.6.1 - 19/5/2020 - Submission - Prue Gorman (DOCX 20.8 KB)

    9.6.2 - 20/5/2020 - Submission - Judy Barton (DOCX 14.6 KB)

    9.6.3 - 26/5/2020 - Submission - Karen Grob (DOCX 21.0 KB)

    9.6.4 - 25/5/2020 - Submission - Helen Whait (DOCX 14.0 KB)

    9.6.5 - 31/5/2020 - Submission - Peter Wilson (DOCX 19.8 KB)

    9.6.6 - 1/6/2020 - Submission - Samantha Connor (DOCX 19.3 KB)

    9.6.7 - 2/6/2020 - Submission - Athena Karabetsos (DOCX 18.1 KB)

    9.6.8 - 3/6/2020 - Submission - Nat Cook

    9.6.9 - 4/6/2020 - Submission - Dawn Brookes (DOCX 25.2 KB)

    9.6.10 - 9/6/2020 - Submission - SACID (PDF 1.0 MB)

    9.6.11 - 11/6/2020 - Submission - Anon (DOCX 18.8 KB)

    9.6.12 - 11/6/2020 - Submission - Del Wine (DOCX 14.4 KB)

    9.6.13 - 12/6/2020 - Submission - Sue Versteeg (DOCX 14.3 KB)

    9.6.14 - 12/6/2020 - Submission - Anon (DOCX 14.2 KB)

    9.6.15 - 12/6/2020 - Submission - Phil and Heather Martin (DOCX 23.4 KB)

    9.6.16 - 12/6/2020 - Submission - Law Society of SA

    9.6.17 - 16/6/2020 - Submission - Katherine Annear (PDF 428.1 KB)

    9.6.18 - 16/6/2020 - Submission - Anon (DOCX 17.7 KB)

    9.6.19 - 17/6/2020 - Submission - Angela Littleford (DOCX 47.4 KB)

    9.6.20 - 17/6/2020 - Submission - Keith Banfield (PDF 130.3 KB)

    9.6.21 - 21/6/2020 - Submission - Anon (DOCX 12.2 KB)

    9.6.22 - 26/6/2020 - Submission -Tony Renshaw (PDF 351.2 KB)

    9.6.23 - 29/6/2020 - Submission - Annette Herbert (DOCX 18.5 KB)

    9.6.24 - 1/7/2020 - Submission - Jeremy Moore - Community Guardians (PDF 2.2 MB)

    9.6.25 - 1/7/2020 - Submission - Anon (DOCX 12.9 KB)

    9.6.26 - 2/7/2020 - Submission - SA NDIS Psychosocial Disability Transition Taskforce Subgroup

    9.6.27 - 10/7/2020 - Submission - Anon (DOCX 21.6 KB)

    9.6.28 - 13/7/2020 - Submission - Leanne Longfellow (PDF 154.4 KB)

    9.6.29 - 15/7/2020 - Submission - Arnold Stroobach - Buurtzorg presentation (PDF 9.6 MB)

    9.6.30 - 24/7/2020 - Submission - Liz Forsyth - Brain Injury SA (DOCX 32.0 KB)

    9.6.31 - 24/7/2020 - Submission - Pru Gorman - Community Living Project (DOCX 21.3 KB)

    9.6.32 - 27/7/2020 - Submission - DACSSA - Report - Interface of Systems with Disability in SA (PDF 968.0 KB)

    9.6.33 - 27/7/2020 - Submission - Louise McDonald (DOCX 17.5 KB)

    9.6.34 - 27/7/2020 - Submission - Heather Buck and Rosie Olbrycht – Citizens Advocacy South Australia

    9.8 List of submissions following July Report

    9.8 List of submissions following July Report

    Submissions to the Safeguarding Task Force on the July Report were received via the Disability Advocate in box, the Minister for Human Services Office and the Premier’s Office.

    Permission to publish these submissions has been provided by the authors.

    The submissions can be found on the Department of Human Services internet page regarding the Task Force or by clicking on the following link https://dhs.sa.gov.au/latest-news/safeguarding-taskforce.

    If you would like to request a hard copy of any of these documents please email disability.advocate@sa.gov.au

    The following is a list of submissions.

    9.8.1 – 23/6/2020 – Simon Schrapel – Uniting Communities (DOCX 38.1 KB)

    9.8.2 – 23/7/2020 - Cathy Smith (PDF 843.7 KB)

    9.8.3 – 24/7/2020 – Graeme Head – NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (PDF 225.3 KB)

    9.8.4 – 3/8/2020 - Jenny Hughes – Access and Disability Inclusion Advocacy (DOCX 23.8 KB)

    9.8.5 – 3/8/2020 – Jennifer Sloan (DOCX 12.5 KB)

    9.8.6 – 4/8/2020 – Sharon Riley – Me-Well (DOCX 12.9 KB)

    9.8.7 – 4/8/2020 – Richard Bruggemann – Safeguarding Taskforce Member (DOCX 12.2 KB)

    9.8.8 – 8/8/8/2020 – Annette Herbert (DOCX 16.7 KB)

    9.8.9 – 26/8/2020 – Helen Connolly – Commissioner for Children and Young People (PDF 1.9 MB)

    9.8.10 – 11/9/2020 – Penny Wright – Guardian for Children and Young People (PDF 320.6 KB)

    9.8.11 – 11/9/2020 – Steve Tully and the Health Performance Council. (PDF 203.4 KB)

    9.8.12- 14/9/2020 – Marj Ellis – Lighthouse Disability

    9.8.13 – 14/9/2020 – Maeve Kennedy – Children and Young People with Disability Australia. (DOCX 17.2 KB)

    9.9 Meetings with key stakeholders regarding the July Report

    9.9 Meetings with key stakeholders regarding the July Report

    9.9.1 – Sharon Riley – Me -Well (DOCX 28.8 KB)

    9.10 Safeguarding Taskforce Supplementary Report-September 2020

    9.10 Safeguarding Taskforce Supplementary Report-September 2020

    The Minister for Human Services established the Safeguarding Task Force on 21 May 2020 with responsibility to examine and report quickly on systemic safeguarding gaps of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (the Commission) and the state. An interim report was submitted to the Minister on 15 June 2020 and publicly released on 16 June 2020. The Interim Report concentrated on preventative and corrective measures and identified 12 safeguarding gaps and made 5 recommendations.

    The July Report focused on developmental measures and subsumed the Interim report. The July Report was adjusted to include feedback received from submissions made to the Task Force after the Interim Report and information provided through meetings with interested parties. The July Report identified an additional 2 gaps in safeguarding (making 14 in total) and made seven recommendations (an additional two recommendations) to address those gaps. The report was provided to the Minister on 31July 2020.

    The members of the Safeguarding Task Force with lived experience raised concerns about the short time frame for the delivery of the July report. They thought that the time frame did not provide the opportunity for people with disability to access the report in an appropriate format and provide genuine and considered feedback. The July report was opened for additional feedback until 14 September 2020.

    Twelve additional submissions were made to the Safeguarding Task Force. A number of these submissions were echoing concerns that were raised in the report, reinforcing the views of the Safeguarding Task Force or urging more to be done. Lighthouse Disability reinforced the need for case management. They provided additional clarification on the key aspects of case management that differ from support coordination, a comprehensive program which is coordinated and links different aspects of services delivery, not a series of unrelated activities - also that case management includes advocacy. The Health Performance Council extended the concerns about health matters, suggesting that the report “expressly recognise the safeguarding gap that can arise from the health system not recognising the needs of people with disabilities outside of Adelaide”

    A letter was received from the Commissioner, Graeme Head, NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission outlining the operation and functions of the NDIS Act and Rules and how they pertain to the issues raised in the report.

    Feedback was provided from Children and Young People with Disability Australia, the Guardian for Children and Young People and the Commissioner for Children and Young People who all highlighted concerns in relation to gaps not considered in the report in relation to Children and Young People.

    “In South Australia and across the country there is insufficient monitoring and oversight or accountability for reporting to identify the systemic abuse and neglect that has either led them to these systems or as an outcome of their involvement in the systems” -  Children and Young People with Disability Australia

    “Aboriginal children and young people with disability who are in care and/or youth detention may be some of Australia’s most vulnerable and marginalised people. Visiting schemes and oversight bodies must also strive to employ, using targeted recruitment, an appropriate number of Aboriginal staff who have expertise about the care and needs of children and young people with disability” - Guardian for Children and Young People

    “The state government has recognised gaps in oversight of adults and have expanded the adult safeguarding unit but there appears to be no recognition that the same gaps will be occurring with children with disabilities. There is little oversight to ensure that children with disabilities are safely accessing public services (school, sport community services for children". - Commissioner for Children and Young People

    After the tragic death of Ann Marie Smith, an adult living alone, the Safeguarding Task Force was focussed on safeguarding gaps affecting adults with disability, and particularly those who are vulnerable. There are other mechanisms and government agencies focussed on the safety and care of children and young people, including the Department for Child Protection, Department of Human Services, Department for Education and SA Health.

    Though not a submission to the Task Force the Report to the Commissioner of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission from Alan Robertson SC documents a number of recommendations that mostly mirror the findings of the Task Force. Mr. Robertson tackled the issues of NDIS participant vulnerability, Community Visitor Schemes, reportable incidents and complaints.

    The Minister for Human Services released a statement advising that the Report had been handed down and outlined how the State Government was actioning the recommendations.

    • The Department of Human Services developed and has signed new information sharing guidelines with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.
    • The Department of Human Services is supporting all state authorities to develop and publish their Disability Access and Inclusion Plan by October 31, 2020

    The expansion of the Adult Safeguarding Unit is being brought forward from the original date of 2022 and will now be able to take reports of vulnerable adults of any age living with a disability commencing October 1, 2020. The scope will expand again to include all vulnerable adults over the age of 18 from 1 October 2022 (as originally anticipated).

    • The State Government will provide an additional $1.8 Million over 3 years to continue the work of the Disability Advocate and to support individual advocacy in SA.
    • The State Government remains committed to maintaining the Community Visitor Scheme in SA and will progress how it can work alongside the NDIS.

    Australian Government released their response to the 2019 Review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 and the NDIA published their Participant Service Improvement Plan 2020-21 and Participant Service Charter. The focus is now being on improvements to the scheme and another set of eyes for the participant by pro-actively checking in on a participant, especially if they may be in a vulnerable situation.

    9.11 Summary table of outcomes to date from Safeguarding Taskforce recommendations

    9.11 Summary table of outcomes to date from Safeguarding Taskforce recommendations

    Safeguarding Recommendations

    Safeguarding Gap

    Responses from:

    • The Department of Human Services
    • Report to the Commissioner of the NDIS   Quality and Safeguards Commission Alan Robertson SC 31 August 2020
    • Australian Government response to the   Tune Review
    • Graham Head- NDIS Commissioner letter   to the SA Safeguarding Taskforce
    • National Disability Insurance Scheme -   Participant Service Improvement Plan
    • Disability Advocate.

    Recommendation 1

    That the State Government communicate the matters raised in this 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.

    Safeguarding Gap 1

    Potentially vulnerable participants are not routinely identified and assigned ongoing support coordination in their NDIS Plan.

    Department of Human Service Response

    The state government is working with the Australian government and all jurisdictions for Safeguarding gaps to be actioned, and the July Report of the Safeguarding Task Force was communicated immediately.

    Robertson Report Recommendations

    1. The Commission should act to identify earlier those people with disability who are vulnerable to harm or neglect. Every stage of decision-making, including corrective regulation, should be alive to factors indicating that a participant may be vulnerable to harm or neglect. (Although not within my terms of reference, the NDIA should also so act in the planning process and continually.) The Commission and the NDIA should have a freer and two-way flow of information for this purpose.

    3. For each vulnerable NDIS participant, there should be a specific person with overall responsibility for that participant’s safety and wellbeing. That individual should be clearly identified by name and, ideally, introduced in person, to the vulnerable NDIS participant. (Although not within my terms of reference, that individual should be identified in a participant’s plan.)

    Response to Tune Review

    16. 1 The NDIS Rules are amended to

    a) Set out the factors the NDIA will consider in funding support coordination in a participant’s plan

    Supported

    Support coordination may be funded as a reasonable and necessary support in a participant’s plan. The Government notes that while support coordination is not intended to be the principal method to support participants to navigate the market and implement their plan, for many it is seen as a fundamental support that maximises their confidence in navigating the market and exercising informed choice and control in the delivery of their supports.

    National Disability Insurance Scheme - Participant Service Improvement Plan

    Using your plan

    We will be clearer about support coordination services, and what you should expect

    Support for engaging with us

    We will pro-actively check-in with you, especially if you may be in a vulnerable situation

    We will improve our direct support for you if you have complex needs and require critical supports, or are otherwise potentially vulnerable

    Liaison Officers, for Health and Justice especially, will help participants interact with the NDIS in each state and territory.

    Safeguarding Gap 2

    The support coordinator can be from the same agency that provides other core services for the individual, creating a conflict of interest.

    Department of Human Service Response

    The state government is working with the Australian government and all jurisdictions for Safeguarding gaps to be actioned, and the July Report of the Safeguarding Task Force was communicated immediately.

    Response to Tune Review

    16. 1 The NDIS Rules are amended to

    b) Outline the circumstances in which it is not appropriate for the providers of support coordination to be the provider of any other funded supports in a participant’s plan, to protect participant’s from provider’s conflict of interest.

    Supported by Australian Government

    The Government supports reinforcing the active consideration of support coordination in the process of developing a participant’s plan and identifying reasonable and necessary supports. The Government also supports enabling participants to access their funded supports from a diverse range of service providers, if it is the participant’s choice to do so, and ensuring service delivery arrangements protect participants from conflicts of interest.

    Safeguarding Gap 3

    Participants are not routinely linked to community activities so they are often isolated.

    Department of Human Service Response

    The state government is working with the Australian government and all jurisdictions for Safeguarding gaps to be actioned, and the July Report of the Safeguarding Task Force was communicated immediately.

    Safeguarding Gap 4

    Participants are not identified as potentially vulnerable by the NDIA and prioritised by LAC when carrying out the community connection role

    Department of Human Service Response

    The state government is working with the Australian government and all jurisdictions for Safeguarding gaps to be actioned, and the July Report of the Safeguarding Task Force was communicated immediately.

    Safeguarding Gap 5

    NDIS plans do not routinely include strategies to minimise participant risk, for example, coordination of health care (including dental, sexual and mental health), technology to aid independence and safety, capacity building for asserting rights, and recognition of cultural matters.

    Department of Human Service Response

    The state government is working with the Australian government and all jurisdictions for Safeguarding gaps to be actioned, and the July Report of the Safeguarding Task Force was communicated immediately.

    Safeguarding Gap 6

    Participants and their families are unclear about how to raise matters of concern with the Commission and the Commission does not routinely undertake proactive inspections to vet the performance of service providers

    Department of Human Service Response

    The state government is working with the Australian government and all jurisdictions for Safeguarding gaps to be actioned, and the July Report of the Safeguarding Task Force was communicated immediately.

    Robertson Report Recommendation

    6. The statutory definition of “reportable incident” in s 73Z of the NDIS Act should be amended to make it clear that it includes a real or immediate threat of one of the listed types of harm. The word “complaints” in s 73X of the NDIS Act should be defined to remove any doubt that it includes concerns and observations in relation to the provision of supports or services by NDIS providers.

    Letter from NDIS Commissioner

    The Taskforce makes comments on page 22 of its interim report (reiterated by Dr Caudrey in the evidence he gave to the Hon Alan Robertson SC during public hearings for Mr. Robertson’s independent review on 21 July 2020) that suggest that the NDIS Commission does not take complaints other than from NDIS participants and their nominees.   This is not correct – anyone is able to make a complaint to the NDIS Commission about an NDIS provider, registered or unregistered. Indeed, the Rules specifically provide for complaints to be made by any person, and for them to be made anonymously if the complainant wishes.

    Safeguarding Gap 7

    The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission does not adequately consider the risk factors associated with the use of unregistered providers of personal support, particularly for potentially vulnerable participants.

    Department of Human Service Response

    The state government is working with the Australian government and all jurisdictions for Safeguarding gaps to be actioned, and the July Report of the Safeguarding Task Force was communicated immediately.

    Letter from NDIS Commissioner

    Noting that there will be ongoing interest in the issue of the regulation of this class of provider, the NDIS Commission will continue to consider the operation of this part of the market, including the effectiveness of our complaints mechanism for self-managing participants who are using unregistered providers.

    Risk is dealt with in the model through the following features:

    * the determination through the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) planning process as to when a person is to be Agency-managed, plan-managed or are fully self-managing;

    * active education by the NDIS Commission and the NDIA about the importance of self-managing participants making use of the NDIS Commission’s complaints function when things are not working for them; and

    * the ability to take enforcement action against unregistered providers, including banning them from the NDIS market (banning orders have been made against unregistered providers already).

    The operation of unregistered providers in the NDIS market is a feature of the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework. It was considered in the detailed consultation that informed the final design of the Framework. It was considered during the debate on the NDIS Act. It is seen by many people with disability and others, including many advocates, as a key element of the principle of choice and control that underpins the NDIS.

    Safeguarding Gap 8

    The Commission does not explicitly require of all providers of personal support that there be at least two support workers for that individual (not necessarily at the same time) and that workers in participants’ homes have regular supervision.

    Department of Human Service Response

    The state government is working with the Australian government and all jurisdictions for Safeguarding gaps to be actioned, and the July Report of the Safeguarding Task Force was communicated immediately.

    Robertson Report Recommendation

    2. No vulnerable NDIS participant should have a sole carer providing services in the participant’s own home. The relevant statutory instruments and guidelines should be amended to provide expressly for this.

    Safeguarding Gap 9

    Regular health checks are not routinely made available to all vulnerable NDIS participants and their NDIS plan does not routinely include coordination of their health care.

    Department of Human Service Response

    The state government is working with the Australian government and all jurisdictions for Safeguarding gaps to be actioned, and the July Report of the Safeguarding Task Force was communicated immediately.

    The State Government acknowledges that primary health is a Commonwealth Government responsibility and will work with them to ensure that regular health checks for vulnerable NDIS participants are considered.

    Recommendation 2

    That the State Government address the need for vulnerable NDIS participants to have regular health checks including communicating to the Commonwealth Department of Health.

    Safeguarding Gap 9

    Regular health checks are not routinely made available to all vulnerable NDIS participants and their NDIS plan does not routinely include coordination of their health care.

    Department of Human Service Response

    The State Government acknowledges that primary health is a Commonwealth Government responsibility and will work with them to ensure that regular health checks for vulnerable NDIS participants are considered.

    Disability Advocate comment

    Some non-government organisations are creating centres for disability health comprising a range of therapy, medical, dental services utilising NDIS and Medicare funding.

    Recommendation 3

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

    Safeguarding Gap 10

    There is currently no State agency to report abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults under 65 years of age.

    Department of Human Service Response

    The State Government will bring forward the expansion of the Adult Safeguarding Unit so that its scope includes vulnerable adults living with a disability of any age from October 2020. The scope will expand again to include all vulnerable adults over the age of 18 from 1 October 2022 (as originally anticipated).

    Recommendation 4

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

    Safeguarding Gap 11

    The DHS Screening Unit is not quickly and fully provided with relevant information by the Commission, the NDIA and some State agencies, compromising the availability of information on an individual worker that might affect their suitability to work with people with disabilities.

    Department of Human Service Response

    The Department of Human Services has developed and signed new information sharing guidelines with the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Commission.

    Robertson Report Recommendations

    (10) The Commissioner should have statutory power to ban a person from working in the disability sector even where that person is no longer so employed or engaged.

    (8) The Commissioner should have the same power in relation to NDIS service providers, that is, to include as subject to the power to ban those entities no longer providing those services.

    Letter from NDIS Commissioner

    Worker screening: The interim report focuses on a perceived safeguarding gap related to information sharing between the NDIS Commission and the SA Department of Human Services regarding worker screening.

    As you are aware, from 1 February 2021 the new national NDIS worker screening arrangements come into force. Under these arrangements, state and territory screening units determine whether a worker is cleared or excluded based on the parameters agreed by all governments. Providers and self-managing participants will be able to associate with a prospective or existing employee in the database and will be alerted if something in their clearance status changes, including when the NDIS Commission bans a worker. Until those arrangements come into effect, transitional arrangements set out in the NDIS Rules (and determined for each state by that state) continue to apply.

    Very detailed information sharing protocols are currently being finalised between the NDIS Commission and each state and territory to ensure the proper operation of this new safeguard.

    Recommendation 5

    That the State Government reaffirm the value of a community visitor scheme as an additional safeguard for potentially vulnerable participants and work with the Commonwealth to establish a complementary scheme.

    Safeguarding Gap 12

    The commencement of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission on 1 July 2018 in South Australia has created issues with the scope of the Community Visitor Scheme.

    Department of Human Service Response

    In South Australia, the Community Visitor Scheme continues to visit state run disability and mental health services and has been expanded to include visitation for all adults under state guardianship. The South Australian Government will continue to work with the Commonwealth regarding community visitors and the recommendation that the Commission considers its own visiting scheme.

    Letter from NDIS Commissioner

    Community Visitors: The NDIS Commission supports the work of community visitor schemes in each state or territory, where they exist. We regard community visitors as expert complainants and very valuable sources of information and insights. The Framework acknowledges the important role of community visitors.

    The Commonwealth position remains that the quality and safeguarding arrangements set out in the NDIS Act are able to operate concurrently with those arrangements that were in place in SA before the NDIS Commission had jurisdiction. Indeed, the arrangements in the five other jurisdictions with such schemes operate concurrently with the NDIS Commission’s arrangements, as does a complementary worker registration scheme in one other jurisdiction.

    Your interim report indicates that this matter will be the subject of further examination and analysis as part of finalising your report. I am not aware that this has been discussed with anyone from the NDIS Commission as yet.

    Robertson Report Recommendations

    (4) Consideration should be given to the Commission establishing its own equivalent to State and Territory based Community Visitor Schemes to provide for individual face-to-face contact with vulnerable NDIS participants.

    (5) Because of the inherent limitations in record based systems in preventing harm or the risk of harm to vulnerable participants, the Commission should conduct occasional visits to assess the safety and wellbeing of selected individual NDIS participants, whether or not a complaint has been made or a “reportable incident” notified. The Commission should miss no opportunity for face-to-face assessment of vulnerable participants.

    Recommendation 6

    That State and Local Government agencies provide for better access and inclusion so that people with disabilities can fully participate in society.

    Safeguarding Gap 13

    State and local government agencies have not yet invested sufficiently in achieving the goals of the Disability Inclusion Act 2018.

    Department of Human Service Response

    The Department for Human Services is supporting all state authorities to develop and publish their Disability Access and Inclusion Plan by October 31 2020- and this will include State Government Initiatives.

    Recommendation 7

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

    Safeguarding Gap 14

    The State has not invested in individual advocacy to assist people with disabilities to navigate the service system and the community.

    Department of Human Service Response

    The Government will fund a new, state-wide individual advocacy service to ensure vulnerable South Australians with disability can access and receive the supports they need.

    Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the new service will receive $400,000 a year for three years and will begin operating in December.

    “The new service will not only provide South Australians living with disability and their families with support and address gaps in support, it also aims to help them build knowledge and confidence to advocate for themselves.

    The new service operator will be selected through a competitive tender process, open soon.

    Organisations tendering to provide the advocacy service will need to demonstrate:

    * Experience in supporting vulnerable people with disability;

    * Capability to provide a state-wide service and offer various methods of accessing the service; and

    * Experience in providing legal advice to support appropriate representation (e.g. appearing before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal).

    Response to the Tune Review

    3. The Commonwealth provides additional funding to support people with disability to navigate the NDIS, with a review of demand to occur as part of the next review of the NDIS costs, currently scheduled for 2023.

    Disability Ministers have also agreed to review national disability advocacy and decision-making supports, including a demand and gap analysis, to ensure funded advocacy organisations are effectively supporting and delivering outcomes for NDIS participants, as well as people with disability who are not eligible for the NDIS, who represent the vast majority of people with disability in Australia.

    9.12 Bibliography

    9.12 Bibliography

    Australian Human Rights Commission (2018). A Future Without Violence: Quality, safeguarding and oversight to prevent and address violence against people with disability in institutional settings.

    The Australian Government (2018). National Disability Insurance Scheme (Practice Standards—Worker Screening Rules) 2018. National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013. https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2019C00574.

    The Australian Government (2016). National Disability Insurance Scheme: Quality and Safeguarding Framework. https://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/04_2017/ndis_quality_and_safeguarding_framework_final.pdf.

    Avery, S. (2018). Culture is inclusion: Community-control the way forward for Aboriginal disability research. Report. First Peoples Disability Network.

    Brayley, J., Prowse, J., Harris, G., and Arlidge S. (2020). SA NDIS Psychosocial Disability
    Transition Taskforce.
    Government of South Australia.

    The Commonwealth of Australia (2010). National Standards for Mental Health Services.

    The Commonwealth of Australia (2018). Bilateral Agreement between the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of South Australia on the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

    The Commonwealth of Australia (2019). Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme: NDIS Planning Interim Report, December 2019.

    The Commonwealth of Australia (2019). Provider Registration Guide to Suitability for Western Australia V 1.11. November 2019.

    The Commonwealth of Australia (2019). Statement of Sally Robinson, Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, November 2019.

    The Commonwealth of Australia (2020). Disability and Oral Health Collaboration, Your Dental Health, Australasian Academy of Paediatric Dentistry, Submission on Oral Health and Disability, February, 2020.

    The Commonwealth of Australia (2020). Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme: Report into Supported Independent Living, May 2020.

    Community Resource Unit (2015). Proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme Quality and Safeguarding Framework. https://cru.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CRU-Submission.Proposed-NDIS-QS-Framework.April-2015-2.pdf.

    Cook, N. (2020) Letter Re: Disability Inclusion (Community Visitor Scheme) Amendment Bill 2020. June 2020.

    Cortis, N., and van Toorn, G. (2020). Working in new disability markets: A survey of Australia's disability workforce Sydney: Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney. https://apo.org.au/sites/default/files/resource-files/2020-05/apo-nid305121.pdf.

    Dee-Price, B-J. (2020). SA woman dies from long term abuse and neglect: A Disability Community Response. Independent Disability Research & Education. May 2020.

    The Government of South Australia, Health Performance Council (2020). Health outcomes and experiences for South Australians with disability – what we heard.

    Gardner, J. (2019). Review of the community visitors scheme in South Australia, 8 March 2019.

    Jay, L. (2019). Why we need to use the F-word. Disability Services Consulting. Viewed 12 June 2020. https://teamdsc.com.au/resources/we-need-use-the-f-word.

    Law Society of South Australia (2020). Gaps in safeguarding arrangements for people with disabilities in South Australia, Ref: 801322. 12 June 2020.

    The Mental Health Coalition of South Australia (2020). National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Transition Pilot Project. A lived experience lens on service continuity for people transitioning from State psychosocial programs to the NDIS. Final Report.

    Michael, L. (2020). Stronger protections for Victorian people with disability. PRObono Australia. Viewed 23 June 2020. https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2020/06/stronger-protections-for-victorian-people-with-disability.

    NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission (2020), NDIS Practice Standards. Viewed 24 June 2020, https://www.ndiscommission.gov.au/providers/ndis-practice-standards.

    NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission (2020). Quality, Safety and You. Viewed 2 July 2020. https://www.ndiscommission.gov.au/workers/training-course.

    NDIS Workforce Ready Consortia: Cootharinga North Queensland Inc., AVANA Australasian Disability Professionals, and Deakin University (2013). NDIS Work Force Ready: A research report commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. June 2013.

    National Disability Services (2020). NDS Zero Tolerance. Viewed 31 June 2020. https://www.nds.org.au/resources/zero-tolerance.

    Nevile, A., Malbon, E., Kay, A., and Carey, G. (2019). The implementation of complex social policy: Institutional layering and unintended consequences in the national disability insurance scheme. Australian Journal of Public Administration. 78(4). pp. 562–576. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8500.12380.

    Quilty, J. (2020). Failing through the gaps. Disability Services Consulting. Viewed12 July 2020. https://teamdsc.com.au/resources/failing-through-gaps.

    Robert, S. (2020). Announcement regarding banning powers. 8 June 2020. https://www.ndis.gov.au/news/4841-new-banning-powers-strengthen-protections-ndis-participants.

    Robinson, S. (2019). Statement of Sally Antoinette Robinson. Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. 29 November 2019.

    Robinson, S. and Graham, A. (2020). Feeling safe, avoiding harm: Safety priorities of children and young people with disability and high support needs. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, pp. 1-20. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1744629520917496.

    Robinson, S. and Graham, A. (2019). Promoting the safety of children and young people with intellectual disability: Perspectives and actions of families and professionals. Children and Youth Services Review 104(2019)104404. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740919301719.

    Robinson, S. and Chenoweth, L. (2011). Preventing abuse in accommodation services: From procedural response to protective culture. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 15(1) pp. 63-74. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1744629511403649.

    Robinson, S., Oakes, P., Murphy, M., Ferguson, P., Lee, F., Ward-Boas, W., Codognotto, M., Nicks, J., and Theodoropoulos, D. (2019). Building safe and respectful cultures in disability services for people with disability. Report. The State of Victoria, Disability Services Commissioner. June 2019. https://www.odsc.vic.gov.au/abuse-prevention/building-safe-and-respectful-cultures/.

    Salomon, C and Trollor, J. (2020). A scoping review of causes and contributors to deaths of people with disability in Australia. Faculty of Medicine, the Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry. February 2020. https://www.ndiscommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020-02/summary-findings-24.pdf.

    St Clair, R. (2020). Visibility and inclusion an essential safeguard for people with disability. Disability Support Guide.https://www.disabilitysupportguide.com.au/talking-disability/visibility-and-inclusion-an-essential-safeguard-for-people-with-disability.

    The South Australian Ministers Disability Advisory Council (2011). Inclusion & protection: A dynamic safeguarding schema for South Australians with disability who are also vulnerable to neglect and abuse.

    Tune, D. (2019). Review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013: Removing Red Tape and Implementing the NDIS Service Guarantee. December 2019. https://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/01_2020/ndis-act-review-final-accessibility-and-prepared-publishing1.pdf.

    The Victorian Council of Social Service (2017). A high quality disability workforce VCOSS submission to registration and accreditation consultation paper. October 2017. https://vcoss.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/SUB_171027_Registration-and-Accreditation-Scheme_Final.pdf.

    Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (2020). National Consultations Executive Summary: Investigation of the Impact of NDIS Market Settings on Participants with a Psychosocial Disability. March 2020.

    Walker M., Fulton, K. and Bonyhady, B. (2013). A personalised approach to safeguards in the NDIS. Safeguards and Quality Assurance Expert Group. March 2013. https://centreforwelfarereform.org/library/a-personalised-approach-to-safeguards.html.

    Westwood Spice on behalf of the Department of Social Services for the Disability Reform Council, Council of Australian Governments (2018). Community Visitor Schemes Review. https://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/02_2020/pdf-version-community-visitors-review_0.pdf.

    9.13 Legislative Comparisons across jurisdictions for CVS

    9.13 Legislative Comparisons across jurisdictions for CVS

    State

    Authorisation

    Department

    Requesting visitation

    What they can visit

    Relevant Powers

    SA

    SA has a disability CVS

    Relevant legislation:  Disability Services (Community Visitor Scheme) Regulations 2013 (SA) (‘DS (CVS) Regulations’) under the Disability Services Act 1993.

    DHS

    s 5(1): request to see a community visitor may be made by any of the following people:

    - (a) resident

    - (b) person attending a day options program

    - (c) a guardian, medical agent, relative, carer or friend of a person

    - (d) any other person who is providing support to a person

    s 5(2): request can be made to a manager or person of authority at the accommodation premises, and they must notify a community visitor of the request within 3 days after receipt.

    No legislative power to enter private homes.

    Community visitors have right to visit disability accommodation premises and day options program premises “any reasonable time”: 3 DS (CVS) Regulations 2013.

    Importantly, the Disability Services Act 1993 relates to services funded by the State Government, meaning as of May 2019 the disability CVS no longer visit non-government disability services (as there is no funding relationship).

    Powers contained within s 4 ofthe DS (CVS) Regulations 2013.

    For disability accommodation premises,includes right to inquire into:

    -    The appropriateness and standard of the premises for the accommodation of residents: s 4(1)(a)(i) DS (CVS) Regulations.

    -    Whether residents are provided with adequate information to enable them to make informed decisions about their accommodation, care and activities: s 4(1)(a)(iv) DS (CVS) Regulations.

    -    Any case of abuse or neglect, or suspected abuse or neglect, of a resident: s 4(1)(a)(v) DS (CVS) Regulations.

    -    The use of restrictive interventions and compulsory treatment: s 4(1)(a)(vi) DS (CVS) Regulations.

    -    Any complaint made to a community visitor by a resident, guardian, medical agent, relative, carer or friend of a resident, or any other person providing support to a resident: s 4(1)(a)(viii) DS (CVS) Regulations.

    For visitation of day options program premises, the rights are effectively the same as above but contained in their own subsection: s 4(1)(ab).

    Additionally, for both disability accommodation premises and day options program premises, ability to:

    -    Meet with a resident: s 4(2)(a) DS (CVS) Regulations.

    -    Inspect the premises with permission of the manager: s 4(2)(b) DS (CVS) Regulations.

    -    Request production of any documents or records and make copies of them: ss 4(2)(c) and (d) of the DS (CVS) Regulations.

    NSW

    NSW has a disability CVS

    Relevant Act: Ageing and Disability Commissioner Act 2019 (NSW)

    The Ageing and Disability Commission has general oversight and coordination of Official Community Visitors: s 23(1).

    However, advice and matters can also be directed to the Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services or the NSW Ombudsman.

    No information about how to complain/request visitation from a community visitor in Ageing and Disability Commissioner Act 2019 (NSW).

    No legislative power to enter private homes.

    OCV’s can enter and inspect any ‘visitable service’, which under s 20 includes:

    -    Accommodation services where an adult is in the full-time care of a service provider

    -    Assisted boarding houses

    -    Any other service prescribed by the regulations as a visitable service (currently none).

    Broad powers of Official Community Visitor set out under s 22 of the Act, includes powers to:

    -    Enter and inspect a ‘visitable service’ at any reasonable time without providing notice: s 22(1)(a).

    -    Talk alone with anyone (resident or employee) at the premises: s 22(1)(b).

    -    Inspect any document held at the premises that relates to the operation of a visitable service: s 22(1)(c).

    - Provide the Minister and the Commissioner with advice or information relating to the conduct of the premises, as well as matters affecting the welfare, interests and conditions of persons using visitable services: ss 22(1)(d) and (e).

    VIC

    Victoria has a disability Community Visitor Scheme

    Victoria has three steams of community visitation:

    -    Disability Services Community Visitors under the Disability Act 2006 (VIC).

    -    Mental Health Community Visitors under the Mental Health Act 2014 (VIC).

    -    Supported Residential Services (SRS) Community Visitors under the Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Act 2010 (VIC).

    Community Visitors are overseen by the Victorian Office of the Public Advocate.

    No information about how to directly complain/request visitation from a community visitor in Disability Act 2006 (VIC).

    However, anyone can complain to the Disability Services Commissioner regarding a service provider: ss 109, 110 Disability Act 2006 (VIC).

    No legislative power to enter private homes.

    For Disability Services Community Visitors under the Disability Act 2006 (VIC),can visit “any premises where a disability service provider is providing residential services”: s 30.

    For Supported Residential Services (SRS) Community Visitors under the Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Act 2010 (Vic), can visit “supported residential services”, which under s 5 means:

    -    Premises where accommodation and personal support are privately provided or offered to residents for a fee or reward.

    But does not include aged care facilities, retirement villages, or accommodation and personal support or nursing care services that are provided to a person in respect of whom a residential care subsidy is payable under Commonwealth legislation: s 5.

    Powers differ slightly depending on the stream (disability services, mental health, or SRS).

    For Disability Services Community Visitors under the Disability Act 2006 (Vic),power to inquire into:

    -    The standard of the premises: s 30(a).

    -    Whether treatment of a resident meets a standard of decency based on the principles in section 5: s 30(c).

    -    Any case of suspected abuse or neglect: s 30(e).

    -    The use of restricted practises or compulsory treatment: s 30(f).

    The above powers are also the same for Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) dwellings: s 30A.

    For Supported Residential Services (SRS) Community Visitors under the Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Act 2010 (Vic), powers include:

    -    Right to enter and look at any part of the premises of a supported residential service: s 187(1)(a).

    -    Speak with any resident or employee: s 187(1)(b) and (c).

    QLD

    Queensland has a disability CVS

    Main Act: Public Guardian Act 2014 (QLD) (this is the act being referenced in this row)

    Also: Public Guardian Regulations 2014 (QLD)

    Overseen by the Queensland Office of the Public Guardian.

    More than 140 CV’s working across 13 zones, with each zone having its own Regional Visiting Manager.

    A child under care at a visitable home or site can request visitation from a community visitor: ss 59, 60 Public Guardian Act 2014 (QLD).

    -    Can make the request through the public guardian, an authorised officer or a carer.

    An adult under care at a visitable site can request visitation from a community visitor: s 43(1) Public Guardian Act 2014 (QLD).

    -    Can make the request through the public guardian or by asking a staff member at the site: s 43.

    Note: the legislation does not say whether interested parties can request visitation on behalf of a child or adult – just says the resident can do it themselves.

    Two separate streams of visitation for children and adults.

    Children:

    Right to visit ‘visitable sites’, which under s 51 means:

    -    A residential facility where the child is staying

    -    A detention centre where the child is staying

    -    A corrective services facility where the child is staying

    -    An authorised mental health service where the child is staying

    Also,the right to visit‘visitable homes’, where the child is in the custody or guardianship of someone other than their parent (through the Queensland Child Protection Act 1999)(i.e. foster homes).

    Adults:

    Right to visit ‘visitable sites’, which under s 39 means:

    -    An authorised mental health service provider that provides inpatient services

    -    Forensic disability services

    -    A place, other than a private dwelling, in which an adult lives and receives NDIS services: Schedule 1 Public Guardian Regulations 2014 (Qld).

    Different powers depending on whether a child or adult is being visited.

    Children:

    -    Broad powers to do ‘all things necessary or convenient’ in order to assess the adequacy and appropriateness of a place.

    -    For visitable sites, power to:

    • Enter during normal hours without   notice: s 67(1)(a).
    • Enter outside normal hours (requires   authorisation from Public Guardian): s 67(1)(b).
    • Inspect the site: s 67(1)(c).
    • Talk in private to the child staying   there: s 67(1)(d).
    • Require staff members to produce   documents: s 67(1)(f).

    -    For visitable homes, must receive access through either consent of the carer there or an authorised warrant: s 61.

    • However once inside have power to look   around and assess its appropriateness for accommodation, talk with the child   privately, and talk with the carer: s 66.

    Adults:

    - Broad power to do ‘all things necessary or convenient’ in order to assess the adequacy and appropriateness of a site: ss 44, 41.

    - Includes ability to:

    • Enter the site during normal hours   without notice: s 44(1)(a).
    • Enter the site outside normal hours   (requires authorisation from the Public Guardian): s 44(1)(b).
    • Require staff members to answer   questions and produce documents: s 44(1)(c).

    WA

    WA does not have an official disability CVS

    The closest it has are two separate complaints schemes under the Disability Services Act 1993 (WA)andthe Health and Disability Services (Complaints) Act 1995 (WA).

    - The important distinction here is that there is no automatic right of access to a site – such a power only arises once a complaint has actually been made.  

    Health and Disability Services Complaints Office (HaDSCO) – independent statutory authority

    Also note: from December 2020 the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission will be responsible for receiving complaints about disability service providers under the NDIS in WA. However until then the Health and Disability Services Complaints Office will be responsible for this (including disability services provided to individuals who have NDIS plans through the NDIA, for individuals who have transferred from WA NDIS to the NDIS, and for individuals who continue to receive services through the State Government or its contracted service providers).

    N/A

    The Health and Disability Services Complaints Office can only visit premises through a warrant: s 63 Health and Disability Services (Complaints) Act 1995 (WA). No automatic right of visitation due to no official community visitor scheme.

    The Health and Disability Services Complaints Office receives complaints that:

    -    A health service has been unreasonably denied.

    -    Health service has been provided in an unreasonable manner.

    -    Unreasonable denial of access to records or breach of privacy.

    -    Not investigating or improperly investigating complaints.

    -    Overcharging.

    Once a complaint has been made, the Health and Disability Services Complaints Office has limited investigation powers, namely, to request information and the production of documents: s 41 Disability Services Act 1993 (WA).

    During investigation of a complaint the Health and Disability Services can only visit premises through a warrant – no automatic right of access: s 63 Health and Disability Services (Complaints) Act 1995 (WA).

    TAS

    Tasmania does not have an official disability CVS

    No CVS, but Department of Health responsible for Disability Services Act 2011 (Tas): s 54 of the act.

    -    Complaints or allegations of abuse can also be reported to Tasmanian Disability and Community Services.

    Additionally, the Tasmanian Health Complaints Commissioner can receive and investigate complaints under the Health Complaints Act 1995 (Tas).

    N/A

    No automatic right of visitation due to no official disability Community Visitor Scheme.

    Department of Health employees or officers can be authorised to enter a funded provider’s premises or private funded premises: s 25 Disability Services Act 2011 (Tas).

    -    Done for the purposes of ensuring that a person residing there is receiving the care and support necessary for their health and wellbeing: s 26(2) Disability Services Act 2011 (Tas).

    Additionally, the Tasmanian Health and Complaints Commissioner can investigate complaints but can only inspect a site with a warrant: s 47 Health Complaints Act 1995 (Tas).

    S 28 of Disability Services Act 2011 Tas) outlines the rights of authorised officers entering premises, includes ability to:

    -    Inspect the premises (including right to open any containers or cabinets)

    -    Request a person on site to provide information or documents

    ACT

    ACT has a disability Official Visitors Scheme

    Relevant Act: The Official Visitor Act 2012 (ACT) establishes the ACT’s Official Visitor Scheme, with each scheme having its own separate legislation.

    - The disability Community Visitor Scheme overseen by the Disability Services Act 1991 (ACT).

    The ACT Public Trustee and Guardian (ACT)

    An entitled person at a visitable place, or anyone else, can request visitation from an official visitor: s 21(1) Official Visit Act 2012 (ACT).

    - The operating entity must notify an official visitor within 24 hours of a request: s 21(2).

    No legislative power to enter private homes.

    Official visitors have ability to visit a “visitable place”, meaning “accommodation provided to an entitled person for respite or long-term residential purposes”: s 8B(1)(a) Disability Services Act 1991 (ACT).

    This includes (per s 8B(1)(b)):

    - (i) Accommodation that is owned, rented or operated by a specialist disability service provider

    - (ii) Accommodation at which a specialist disability service provider provide a specialist disability service

    - (iii) A residential aged care facility that accommodates the entitled person

    But does not include (per s 8B(2)):

    - (a) A private home if the person receives a specialist disability service from someone who isn’t a disability service provider

    - (b) A private home if the person lives in the home with at least 1 adult family member who does not receive a specialist disability service from a specialist disability service provider at the home

    - (c) Accommodation if the only specialist disability service the person receives at the accommodation is a type of service declared by the Minister not to require visitation

    - (d) A residential aged care facility if the person is 65 years old or older when they first receive a specialist disability service (whether at the facility or elsewhere)

    Official visitors have ability to enter a “visitable place” at any reasonable time, either following an official complaint or on their own initiative: s 15(1) Official Visitor Act 2012 (ACT).

    Broad powers, including ability to:

    -    Inspect any health record or other record

    • Requires either the resident’s consent,   reasonable belief from the visitor that the resident has the inability to   consent, or a belief that it’s necessary to carry out their investigation   regardless: s 15(2) Official Visitor Act 2012.

    -    Monitor the conditions, services and practises in place: s 14(1)(b) Official Visitor Act 2012.

    -    Investigate and seek to resolve complaints: s 14(1)(d) Official Visitor Act 2012.

    - Identify and report on systemic issues adversely affecting entitled people at the place: Official Visitor Act 2012.

    NT

    NT has a disability CVS

    Relevant Act: Disability Services Act 1993 (NT)

    Is an independent service under the Anti-Discrimination Commission (NT)

    Complaints can be made to the manager of the residential facility by any interested party: s 46.

    -    Manager has responsibility of investigating complaints and keeping records of them.

    Managers must also ensure residents or interested parties are given information about community visitors and their right to request one. Accordingly, a resident or interested person can request visitation from a community visitor: s 58.

    -    “Interested person” means a guardian, decision maker, primary carer, or another person interested in the resident’s right: s 58(2).

    -    Manager must ensure such a request is sent to a community visitor within 24 hours: s 58(4).

    No legislative power to enter private homes.

    A community visitor may visit (without notice) a residential facility at “any reasonable time”: s 57(2) Disability Services Act 1993 (NT).

    Per section 2, “residential facility” includes:

    -    A secure care facility

    -    An appropriate place other than a secure care facility

    -    Other premises operated by the Agency to provide services for the treatment and care of people with a disability

    Powers (per s 57(2)):

    -    Speak with residents of a residential facility

    -    Inspect a residential facility and any documents relating to residents of the facility made or kept for the Act.

    Additionally, under s55(1) Disability Services Act 1993 (NT), community visitors can inquire and make recommendations relating to:

    -    (a) The adequacy of information relating to the rights of residents receiving treatment and care at residential facilities:

    -    (b) The accessibility and effectiveness of the complaint procedures in place:

    -    (c) The failure of persons employed in residential facilities to comply with the Act.

    -    (d) The use of restrictive interventions:

    -    (e) Any matter the community visitor considers appropriate having regard to the treatment and care principles

    -    (f) any matter as directed to the principal community visitor by the Minister

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