13th October 2016
The 2016 Disability Services Commissioner (DSC) Annual Report has today been tabled in Parliament.
This report highlights a number of key findings during 2015–16, in particular an increase in the number of complaints made to DSC relating to allegations of assault, abuse or neglect, from an average of 6 per cent of all complaints two years ago to 21 per cent in the past year.
The Commissioner states, “We attribute this growth to people’s growing confidence in speaking up as they learn to recognise signs of abuse and assault, particularly in the case of support workers who may witness colleagues behaving inappropriately.”
The report showed that disability support workers were far more likely than victims to make a complaint about allegations of assault, abuse or neglect. In the past year, only one of these complaints was made by a person with a disability, whereas 33 per cent of these complaints were from disability support staff.
With the ongoing rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) over the next three years, this highlights the importance of a strong and robust national safeguarding framework for the rights of people with a disability, and the importance of mandatory reporting of abuse by disability support staff.
Other key findings and information tabled in the report include:
- The nature of 1009 enquiries and complaints received, and how they were handled
- A reduction in time taken to informally resolve complaints
- 87 per cent resolution rate as measured from the perspective of the person making the complaint
- An increased capacity to undertake investigations with 9 investigations finalised and a further 13 investigations underway at 30 June 2016
- An increase in the number of conciliations and reduced time taken from 366 days to 125 days
- 348 Category One critical incident reports reviewed – 87 per cent being about allegations of physical or sexual assault by staff.
Click here to read the full 2016 Disability Services Commissioner Annual Report.
Click here to access the full media release.