An Ageing and Disability Commissioner for NSW
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.
The Commissioner will be a new, statutory authority that will strengthen Government’s ability to respond to abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability and the elderly in home and community settings. Its key functions will include:
- Receiving, triaging and investigating allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation.
- Providing support to vulnerable adults and their families/carers during and following an investigation.
- Reporting and making recommendations to Government on systemic issues related to the abuse, neglect and exploitation of adults with disability and older people.
- Raising community awareness about abuse, neglect and exploitation of vulnerable adults – including how to prevent, identify and respond to matters.
- Administering the Official Community Visitors program in relation to disability services and assisted boarding houses.
The focus of the Commissioner will be preventing abuse, neglect and exploitation in home and community settings. This is distinct from the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner and Aged Care Commission, which are responsible for safeguarding people receiving NDIS and aged care services.
The establishment of the Commissioner will be responsive to a number of reviews and inquiries which have highlighted the need for a new Public Advocate type body, to better respond to abuse, neglect and exploitation. For example, the Ombudsman’s recent Special Report on abuse of vulnerable adults, the Law Reform Commission’s Review of the Guardianship Act, the Parliamentary Inquiry into Elder Abuse and the Implementation of the NDIS in NSW inquiry. The name Ageing and Disability Commissioner has been chosen to speak more clearly to the community about its functions, and reflect its regulatory role.
For more information, please view the Fact Sheet.