Community facilities | May 30, 2016

Kealy - Abuse within disability services

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP is calling on the State Government to urgently implement all 49 recommendations tabled in Parliament resulting from an inquiry into abuse in disability services.

Emma Kealy MP was a member of the Parliament’s Family and Community Development Committee which was responsible for undertaking this inquiry and preparing final recommendations to strengthen the disability services system to prevent, report and act upon abuse.

“The Government must take immediate steps to ensure people with disabilities are protected. The final report into abuse within disability services shows an urgent need for change and the Victorian Government must implement all 49 recommendations,” Ms Kealy said. 

“The report demonstrates a compelling need for change and with the implementation of the NDIS there is no better time for Labor to fund these recommendations as part of this transition,” she said.

Key recommendations include:

  • Introduction of a zero tolerance framework for abuse in the disability sector
  • A mandatory scheme for reporting abuse in Victoria
  • Enhanced powers for the Disability Services Commissioner
  • Renewing the Commissioner’s role as the independent oversight body for disability services in Victoria
  • Introduction of a Working with Vulnerable People Check for all prospective employees in the disability sector
  • Continued funding of dedicated advocacy services to support people with disability and their families.

In its report, the Committee has recognised that women with a disability are disproportionately affected by abuse. It has made recommendations to address this, including expansion of services to support women with disability.

“I have heard first hand, harrowing reports from people who have witnessed or been a victim of abuse in disability services. We must do better to protect people with disability from abuse.

“Full implementation and funding for all recommendations will ensure a safer and better support system for people with disability,” Ms Kealy said.

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