24th November 2016
The Victorian Government has committed to enhancing the oversight role and the powers of the Disability Services Commissioner (DSC) to investigate matters of abuse, assault or neglect in Victorian disability services.
The Government’s response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Abuse in Disability Services was released this week by the Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing. The Government has accepted a number of the Inquiry’s recommendations that relate to DSC, notably committing to:
- commencing legislative work to allow for own motion investigation powers
- mandatory reporting of incidents to DSC, including referrals of abuse and neglect, by the Community Visitors Board
- establishing a memorandum of understanding with the Coroner to review deaths that occur within disability services
- an annual review of deaths in disability services
- developing a protocol between Victoria Police and DSC to clarify roles and processes around the investigation of complaints and allegations of abuse and neglect
These increased powers and oversight will allow DSC to conduct targeted investigations into issues of concern, achieving better outcomes for people with a disability.
Mr Laurie Harkin AM, Disability Services Commissioner, says “I welcome these new measures as a way to further strengthen current safeguards for the rights of people with a disability. I look forward to working with government to discuss implementation, resourcing and rollout of these changes in the weeks to come.”
Click here for a full media release.