2017 Community Visitors Annual Report tabled
Community visiting programs glaring omission from the NDIS safeguarding bill - Public Advocate
The report highlights the vital role Community Visitors play in protecting vulnerable Victorians and the need for such protections to continue under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
This year, 405 Community Visitors made 5151 visits to mental health facilities, disability group homes, and Supported Residential Services (SRS).
Community Visitors identified 414 incidents of abuse, neglect and violence, up from 209 in 2012-13. Reports of abuse in SRS increased 140 per cent over the five years.
The Community Visitors Mental Health, Residential Services and Disability Services boards all recommended the State Government advocate for the retention and effective resourcing of community visitor programs throughout Australia as an essential quality safeguard under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Public Advocate and Community Visitor Chair, Colleen Pearce, said Community visiting programs are a glaring omission from the NDIS safeguarding bill.
“Given that 72 per cent of participants in the NDIS have a diagnosis of intellectual disability, autism or psychosocial disability, Community Visitors are vital in ensuring these participants, particularly where they have no circle of support other than paid carers, are able to access and navigate complaint mechanisms.”
2017 is the 30th anniversary of the Community Visitors Program supported by the Office of the Public Advocate.
- Most vulnerable missing out on mental health support/NDIS
- Reports of abuse, neglect and violence of Victorians with disability double
- Suicides, self-harm, violence in mental health