The NSW Government will establish an Ageing and Disability Commissioner from 1 July 2019, to better protect adults with disability and older people from abuse, neglect and exploitation in home and community settings.
Why is the Commissioner needed?
The NSW Government takes its responsibility to safeguard the most vulnerable members of our community seriously. Unfortunately, people with disability and older people can be more vulnerable to abuse, neglect and exploitation.
A number of reviews and inquiries have highlighted opportunities for the NSW Government to do more to address this issue. These include the recent Parliamentary Inquiry report into the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and provision of disability services, the Ombudsman’s recent report Abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults in NSW – the need for action, the Law Reform Commission’s Review of the Guardianship Act 1987 and the 2016 Parliamentary Inquiry into Elder Abuse.
The establishment of the Commissioner will address the concerns raised in these reports, by strengthening our ability to respond to abuse, neglect and exploitation of adults with disability and older people in home and community settings.
What will the Commissioner do?
The main role of the Commissioner will be to:
• investigate allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation of adults with disability and older people in home and community settings
• provide support to vulnerable adults and their families or carers following an investigation
• report and make recommendations to government on systemic issues related to abuse, neglect and exploitation
• raise community awareness of abuse, neglect and exploitation, including how to prevent, identify and respond to matters
• administer the Official Community Visitors program, in relation to disability services and assisted boarding houses.