Disability abuse prevention - resources for service providers

Victoria’s first disability abuse prevention strategy outlines a zero tolerance approach to abuse and provides a guide for individuals, service providers and the sector to understand promote and enhance safeguards and prevent abuse.

The following resources have been developed or funded by the Department of Health and Human Services to assist service providers embed a culture of zero tolerance of abuse in their organisations. Clear service expectations are important to ensure that people with a disability receive a high standard of support across the sector.

Achieving sustained culture change is also critical, as are workforce screening and provider regulation.

See also 

  • Supporting capacity building and advocacy for people with a disability

    Freedom from abuse and neglect

    The Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability (VALID) has developed a training package and Staying safe resources for people with a disability about identifying, preventing and responding to abuse. Service providers can support people with a disability to access these training packages which aim to empower individuals to understand and speak up for their rights as a powerful means of preventing abuse from occurring, as well as ensuring that situations can be dealt with before they escalate to abusive practice.

    These resources will be available soon on the VALID website.

    Speak up and be safe from abuse

    SCOPE’s Communication and Inclusion Centre has developed tools and resources to assist people to identify and report abuse, which are critical to ensure people are able to speak up.

    The Speak up and be safe from abuse resources are also designed to build the capacity of service providers to support people who have experience of, or are at risk of, abuse, to tell their story.

    The toolkit consists of a set of communication boards, a communication book, record sheets, posters and factsheets, most of which are available on Scope's speak up and be safe from abuse webpage.

  • Quality and Safety Practices

    eLearning resources and tools from the NDS zero tolerance framework

    The department has funded the development of resources aimed at understanding abuse to support the NDS zero tolerance framework. These resources are available at the National Disability Services (NDS) e-learning portal.

    Resources for disability workers

    Resources for providers

    Workforce Development Program on Gender and Disability

    The program is designed to change culture across organisations by working with clients, staff, managers and executives. It aims to increase awareness of how to deliver gender equitable and sensitive services to improve well-being and reduce  gender-based violence

    Components include:

    • Train the Trainer Program – a co-facilitated training model in which women with disability and workers from the family violence sector provide training to staff of disability service providers
    • Delivery of workshops – a series of workshops for disability support workers, service management leadership and senior executive leadership.
    • Peer education programs – a program for women with disability that builds understanding of rights, healthy relationships, what violence is and how to seek support to feel safe.

    Further information can be found at the Workforce development program section on the Women with Disabilities Victoria website.

    Responding to allegations of abuse involving people with disabilities guidelines

    Victoria Police and the department have jointly developed the Responding to allegations of abuse involving people with disabilities guidelines for use by disability service providers and Victoria Police members.

  • Leadership and engagement

    Safeguarding for Boards Guide

    The guide includes a checklist for Boards, recommended actions for organisations can take to embed a zero tolerance approach and a video with advice for Boards about adopting a human rights-based approach in their organisations. National Disability Services has been funded to expand and disseminate the guide, including delivering workshops for Boards.

    Zero tolerance - Safeguarding for Boards can be found under Safeguarding and Quality Management section of the Not-for-profits and the NDIS: Toolkit for Directors page

  • Workforce screening

    Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme

    You can find out more on the expansion of the Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme (DWES) and how it works so that pre-employment screening occurs and unsuitable workers are excluded from the disability service sector workforce on this website.

    Safer recruitment and screening practice

    As part of its Zero Tolerance Framework, National Disability Services Victoria was funded to develop the ‘Safer recruitment and screening practice advice’ to prevent potential abusers gaining employment.

    Practice advice 1: Recruitment and Supervision highlights the importance of service user involvement in recruitment, values-based recruitment and the limitations of police checks alone.

  • Provider regulation

    Client Incident Management System

    The client incident management system (CIMS) empowers service providers to effectively respond to and manage client incidents, to be accountable for their actions and to manage the quality of their own services. The webpage contains information about the CIMS that focuses on the safety and wellbeing of clients.

    Amendments to the Disability Act, including enhancement of the Disability Services Commissioner’s oversight powers

    The Safer Services for People with a Disability page (DHHS Services website) outlines the changes to the Disability Act to embed the principle of zero tolerance of abuse and neglect. It strengthens the Disability Services Commissioner’s oversight of the disability sector.

  • Additional links

    Information that may assist you in your work