The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability continues to have all public events on hold due to COVID-19. It’s not known when these will resume, but the Commission continues its work behind the scenes.
On 26 March, the Commission released a Statement of Concern regarding COVID-19 followed on 15 April by an Issues Paper on Emergency Planning and Response. In addition to raising its concerns through these publications, the Royal Commission is interested in hearing from people with disability experiences during the 2019/20 bush fires and the current pandemic, and any learnings that can be shared, whether it be in response to the issues paper or a general submission.
The NDS (National Disability Services) submitted a response to the Group Homes Issues Paper, where they highlighted their Zero Tolerance Framework. The Zero Tolerance Framework was developed to help understand, implement and improve our practices to safeguard the rights of people living with a disability and to prevent and improve sector responses to abuse, neglect and violence experienced by people with disability. The Zero Tolerance Framework, therefore, ties in with the Disability Royal Commission, which is focusing on Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of people with a disability.
The Zero Tolerance Framework helps guide organisations, like Baptist Care SA, on best practice models to recognise, raise and respond to any actions that deviate from the human rights of people using our services, specifically those living with a disability. By acknowledging Zero Tolerance, we are making a commitment to continuously improve our practice and ensure that we are always striving to do better for people using our services.
Zero Tolerance impacts us all, as we support and know, personally and/or professionally, people living with a disability, therefore we need to ensure that we are upholding their rights, in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities purpose is to “promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.” If you see or hear of any violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation of any person living with a disability, or receiving any support from Baptist Care SA, please advise management of this immediately, or complete a confidential feedback/complaints form on our website.
Zero Tolerance training is being rolled out across Baptist Care SA, to provide everyone a better understanding of this important framework and help us all support people with disability better. We have also worked hard to embed this framework into organisational policies and work directives.
As always, if you, or someone you know, wants to talk to someone within Baptist Care SA in regards to the Royal Commission, please contact Chelsea Arnold on 8273 7100 (a return phone call will be arranged) or [email protected].