On 11 February 2015, the Senate referred the following matter to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report:

Violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings, including the gender and age related dimensions, and the particular situation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, and culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability.

The terms of reference are:

  1. the experiences of people directly or indirectly affected by violence, abuse and neglect perpetrated against people with disability in institutional and residential contexts;
  2. the impact of violence, abuse and neglect on people with disability, their families, advocates, support persons, current and former staff and Australian society as a whole;
  3. the incidence and prevalence of all forms of violence, abuse and neglect perpetrated against people with disability in institutional and residential settings;
  4. the responses to violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability, as well as to whistleblowers, by every organisational level of institutions and residential settings, including governance, risk management and reporting practices;
  5. the different legal, regulatory, policy, governance and data collection frameworks and practices across the Commonwealth, states and territories to address and prevent violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability;
  6. Australia’s compliance with its international obligations as they apply to the rights of people with disability;
  7. role and challenges of formal and informal disability advocacy in preventing and responding to violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability;
  8. what should be done to eliminate barriers for responding to violence, abuse and neglect perpetrated against people with disability in institutional and residential settings, including addressing failures in, and barriers to, reporting, investigating and responding to allegations and incidents of violence and abuse;
  9. what needs to be done to protect people with disability from violence, abuse and neglect in institutional and residential settings in the future, including best practice in regards to prevention, effective reporting and responses;
  10. identifying the systemic workforce issues contributing to the violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability and how these can be addressed;
  11. the role of the Commonwealth, states and territories in preventing violence and abuse against people with disability;
  12. the challenges that arise from moving towards an individualised funding arrangement, like the National Disability Insurance Scheme, including the capacity of service providers to identify, respond to and prevent instances of violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability; and
  13. what elements are required in a national quality framework that can safeguard people with disability from violence, abuse and neglect in institutional and residential settings.

2. That for this inquiry:

  1. ‘institutional and residential settings’ is broadly defined to include the types of institutions that people with disability often experience, including, but not restricted to: residential institutions; boarding houses; group homes; workplaces; respite care services; day centres; recreation programs; mental health facilities; hostels; supported accommodation; prisons; schools; out-of-home care; special schools; boarding schools; school buses; hospitals; juvenile justice facilities; disability services; and aged care facilities; and
  2. ‘violence, abuse and neglect’ is broadly understood to include, but is not limited to: domestic, family and interpersonal violence; physical and sexual violence and abuse; psychological or emotional harm and abuse; constraints and restrictive practices; forced treatments and interventions; humiliation and harassment; financial abuse; violations of privacy; systemic abuse; physical and emotional neglect; passive neglect; and wilful deprivation.

Submissions were sought by 29 June 2015. The reporting date is 24 June 2015. On 25 March 2015, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 16 September 2015. On 9 September 2015, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 11 November 2015.  On 11 November 2015, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 25 November 2015.

Easy English guide to this inquiry (PDF 813KB)

Easy English guide to making a submission (PDF 751KB)



Past Public Hearings

16 Oct 2015: Brisbane, QLD
28 Aug 2015: Adelaide, SA
27 Aug 2015: Sydney Airport, NSW

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Inquiry Status

Report tabled

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Additional Documents

Additional Information

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1 PDF: Royal Commisison transcript of Ombudsman evidence Royal Commisison transcript of Ombudsman evidence
2 PDF: Adelaide People First Vision Statement Adelaide People First Vision Statement
3 PDF: Adelaide People First Values Statement Adelaide People First Values Statement
4 PDF: Adelaide People First newsletter June 2014 Adelaide People First newsletter June 2014
5 PDF: Adelaide People First newsletter December 2014 Adelaide People First newsletter December 2014
6 PDF: Adelaide People First state election bulletin Adelaide People First state election bulletin
7 PDF: Adelaide People First federal election bulletin Adelaide People First federal election bulletin
8 PDF: Adelaide People First federal election bulletin 2013 Adelaide People First federal election bulletin 2013
9 PDF: NSW CID additional evidence from hearing NSW CID additional evidence from hearing
10 PDF: NSW CID Supporting Inclusion Flier NSW CID Supporting Inclusion Flier
11 PDF: NSW CID 2014 Identifying good group homes NSW CID 2014 Identifying good group homes
12 PDF: NSW CID 2015 Every Moment A4 Flyer NSW CID 2015 Every Moment A4 Flyer
13 PDF: NSW CID 2015  Mediating participation NSW CID 2015 Mediating participation
14 PDF: NSW CID 2015 She's been involved NSW CID 2015 She's been involved
15 PDF: NSW CID Positive Behaviour Support and Active Support NSW CID Positive Behaviour Support and Active Support
16 PDF: Minda 2015 Minda 2015
17 PDF: Minda - an introduction to personal power Minda - an introduction to personal power
18 PDF: Minda - quotes from self advocates Minda - quotes from self advocates
19 PDF: Yooralla response to comments made by other parties at hearing on 30 June 2015 Yooralla response to comments made by other parties at hearing on 30 June 2015
20 PDF: Yooralla - staying safe in taxis Yooralla - staying safe in taxis
21 PDF: We Can Work with the Right Support, Position Statement by Inclusion Australia, from Professor Richard Bruggemann, received 22 September 2015 We Can Work with the Right Support, Position Statement by Inclusion Australia, from Professor Richard Bruggemann, received 22 September 2015
22 PDF: Guardianship information, from Professor Richard Bruggemann, received 22 September 2015 Guardianship information, from Professor Richard Bruggemann, received 22 September 2015
23 PDF: Funded Organisation Service Review - Yooralla report, from Yooralla, received 30 September 2015 Funded Organisation Service Review - Yooralla report, from Yooralla, received 30 September 2015
24 PDF: Disability Service Plan 2014-2016, from Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General, received 12 October 2015 Disability Service Plan 2014-2016, from Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General, received 12 October 2015
25 PDF: DJAG Disability Service Plan 2014-16, Year one progress report, from Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General, received 12 October 2015 DJAG Disability Service Plan 2014-16, Year one progress report, from Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General, received 12 October 2015
26 PDF: Disabled Justice report, May 2007, from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, received 16 October 2015 Disabled Justice report, May 2007, from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, received 16 October 2015
27 PDF: dis-Abled Justice report, May 2015, from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, received 16 October 2015 dis-Abled Justice report, May 2015, from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, received 16 October 2015
28 PDF: Position Statement, from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, received 16 October 2015 Position Statement, from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, received 16 October 2015
29 PDF: Shining light on a closed system through an examination of forensic disability orders for persons with an intellectual or cognitive disability report, October 2015, from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, received 16 October 2015 Shining light on a closed system through an examination of forensic disability orders for persons with an intellectual or cognitive disability report, October 2015, from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, received 16 October 2015
30 PDF: Position statement on the Forensic Disability Service, from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, received 16 October 2015 Position statement on the Forensic Disability Service, from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, received 16 October 2015
31 PDF: Human Rights Indicators for People with Disability, from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, received 16 October 2015 Human Rights Indicators for People with Disability, from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, received 16 October 2015
32 PDF: Opening Doors to Life, Position paper, from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, received 16 October 2015 Opening Doors to Life, Position paper, from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, received 16 October 2015
33 PDF: Legislation and Life, September 2003, from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, received 16 October 2015 Legislation and Life, September 2003, from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, received 16 October 2015
34 PDF: University of NSW Review of Disability Services Queensland referral processes to private residential addresses, April 2005, from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, received 16 October 2015 University of NSW Review of Disability Services Queensland referral processes to private residential addresses, April 2005, from Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, received 16 October 2015
35 PDF: Extracts from various Community Visitors' Reports, from Victorian Office of the Public Advocate, received 2 November 2015 Extracts from various Community Visitors' Reports, from Victorian Office of the Public Advocate, received 2 November 2015

See Also

Other information presented to the inquiry

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3515
Fax: +61 2 6277 5829
community.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au

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