Contact us: +61 8 8226 8800

Department for Communities and Social Inclusion

Office of the Senior Practitioner

The Office of the Senior Practitioner (OSP) focuses on reducing the use of restrictive practices, sometimes called 'restraints'.

Our priority is to uphold the rights of South Australians with disability to live free of unauthorised restrictive practices.

We seek to support service providers to provide disability services in the least restrictive way.

The OSP team works to:

  • increase awareness about restrictive practices, authorisation and consent
  • promote positive behaviour support practices

in the South Australian disability services sector.

Human Rights of People with Disabilities

All the work of the OSP is consistent with the rights of people with disabilities; rights that have developed through Common Law, specific legislation and recently the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This commitment to human rights and practical information on their implementation is contained in:

Human Rights Guide for the South Australian Disability Service Sector

This document provides a framework for

  • a commitment to reduce and if possible, eliminate the use of restrictive practices
  • developing Positive Behaviour Support as a strategy to reduce the use of restrictive practices
  • a commitment to developing services that are focussed on the needs and wishes of the individual.

Restrictive practices

Restrictive practices involve any practice, device or action that removes or restricts another person's freedom, movement or ability to make a decision.

Restrictive practices do not include the use of devices for therapy or safety, where being used for their intended purposes, unless the person objects to their use.

For the South Australian disability service sector, the commitment to reduce restrictive practices is spelled out in two key documents:

Safeguarding People with Disability - Restrictive Practices Policy

Restrictive Practices Reference Guide for the South Australian Disability Service Sector

Positive Behaviour Support

The OSP has developed,  in collaboration with disability service providers, a  guide to complement the Restrictive Practices Reference Guide and establish a common understanding of Positive Behaviour Support. It outlines key considerations for South Australian disability service providers in the review and/or initiation of Positive Behaviour Support within their organisations.

Positive Behaviour Support Guide for the South Australian Disability Service Sector

Person-Centred Practice

The OSP has adapted, from an internal document, a guide to help organisations ensure that their services are person-centred.

Person-Centred Guide for the South Australian Disability Service Sector

Related information


Email Office of the Senior Practitioner

This website

Dignity in Care Principles - 1, 4, 5 and 7 in particular

Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) following a brain injury (DOCX 1.8 MB)

Other websites

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

National Framework for Reducing and Eliminating the Use of Restrictive Practices in the Disability Service Sector

An introduction to positive behaviour support (YouTube 6:37 mins)

State Government of South Australia © Copyright DHS .

Provided by:
SA Department for Human Services
Last Updated:
05 Jul 2018
Printed on:
23 Jul 2018
The DHS website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence. © Copyright 2016