The Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Abuse in Disability Services found a long history of widespread abuse and neglect of people with disability. The Inquiry determined that more effective safeguards and oversight measures were needed to ensure disability workers deliver high quality care. In August 2018, the Victorian Parliament passed the Disability Service Safeguards Act 2018 to improve the quality of disability care and service standards across the community. The Act established the Disability Worker Regulation Scheme with approved accreditation standards and an approved Code of Conduct for unregistered disability workers.
‘Interchange Outer East looks forward to working with the Victorian Government to support the Scheme, in addition to continuing our stringent staff recruitment and development processes towards a safer community for people with disability.’ said Lauren Timmerman, IOE Quality Coordinator.
The scheme starts on 1 July 2020 and forms part of the Victorian Government’s ‘zero tolerance’ approach to the abuse of people with disability.
The disability worker regulation scheme aims to:
- ensure workers have the necessary skills, experience and qualifications to provide quality services
- stop people who pose a serious risk of harm from providing disability services in Victoria
- enable people with disability to exercise greater choice and control in their lives, and
- ensure people with disability receive high quality services.
The Disability Worker Regulation Scheme involves the regulation of registered and unregistered disability workers in Victoria.
The Scheme will apply to all disability workers in Victoria. Registration will be voluntary for disability workers and the conduct of registered workers will be regulated. Unregistered workers will be required to abide by a Code of Conduct.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board has decided to delay the commencement of voluntary worker registration until 1 July 2021. The other components of the scheme will commence on 1 July 2020, including complaints and notifications about the conduct of disability workers, and the Code of Conduct. After that time, the Commission can receive complaints about any registered or unregistered disability worker in Victoria.
To find out more about the Disability Worker Regulation Scheme, including fact sheets and information for service providers, workers and people with disability and their families & carers, visit the Victorian Disability Worker Commission website.