The Commissioner overseeing the nation’s strongest safeguards for disability workers has called for a national disability worker registration scheme, as the Disability Royal Commission hands its final report to the Governor-General tomorrow.
Victorian Disability Worker Commissioner Dan Stubbs, who gave evidence before the Royal Commission, said a national scheme would improve safety for people with a disability, and lift the quality and standards of care.
“People with a disability have a fundamental right to feel safe with their disability worker. The Royal Commission has highlighted in shocking detail how little accountability there is in the sector.
“With around only half of support workers operating under the NDIS, it’s clear we need workforce regulation beyond that.
“There is a shortage of workers in the disability sector. Skilled disability workers are particularly needed where some of the most vulnerable people with disability are - prisons, youth justice and out of home care.
“Lifting the standards to give disability workers a competitive edge will ultimately attract more workers to the sector, providing more choice and quality for people with disabilities.”
The Commissioner is hoping that the Royal Commission will make recommendations relating to:
- A regulatory scheme that oversights all disability services and workers – not just those under the NDIS;
- A national registration scheme that promotes quality and safety;
- Measures to attract workers to the disability services sector;
- Disability workers to be qualified with certain levels of training (eg Cert 3);
- Better information sharing among regulators of the disability sector.
Commissioner Stubbs praised the work of the Royal Commissioners and thanked them for listening to a wide range of experiences of people with disabilities.
“An inclusive Australia means that people with disabilities are seen and able to participate in every aspect of society. High quality services for people with disabilities will help enable their full participation.”
The Victorian Disability Worker Commission is the only state-based disability worker regulation scheme, promoting accountability, safety and quality in the disability workforce. The scheme comprises voluntary worker registration, a Code of Conduct, and a complaints service.
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