Safeguarding of the rights of individuals who are vulnerable is a focus for the Department of Communities, with the adoption of the National Standards for Disability Services (‘Standards’). All of the Standards have a safeguarding function, and Standard 1: Rights and Standard 4: Feedback and Complaints provide a particular focus on safeguarding.
In line with the Standards, the Department of Communities will evaluate how State funded services facilitate and support safeguarding of individuals rights and outcomes as part of the Quality System.
Safeguarding of individuals who are vulnerable is not a new consideration for disability service organisations and has always been embedded in practice. To promote understanding and best practice in safeguarding of individuals who are vulnerable, and facilitate the implementation of the Standards, the Department of Communities has developed the Individual Safeguarding Position Paper. The paper (can be downloaded below) was informed by broad sector consultations in 2012/13 for the project, 'Independent support and safeguarding for individuals considered most vulnerable'. The paper aims to promote understanding and best practice in safeguarding for individuals who are vulnerable.
Disability service organisations have a responsibility to protect and support the rights of all people with disability who use their service. This includes ensuring the wellbeing and safety of people with disability at all times. People who work in disability service organisations must speak up if they see, suspect or hear about an incident or allegation of ill-treatment or neglect in relation to a person with disability in the care of their organisation.
Our community has zero tolerance for the abuse and neglect of people with disability. People working in disability service organisations who know or suspect there has been ill-treatment or neglect of a person with disability in the care of their organisation, have a responsibility to take action in a prompt and sensitive way. It’s the right thing to do – and a legal requirement under disability services legislation.
For queries relating to Safeguarding of NDIS Funded Services please contact the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Commission.