Community Visitors Schemes Review

About Community Visitor Schemes

There are currently six Community Visitor Schemes for people with disability operating across Australia, one in each state and territory except Western Australia and Tasmania.  Each scheme operates differently and separately from the others. 

Community Visitor Schemes are the responsibility of state and territory governments.

Why has there been a review of Community Visitor Schemes?

During the development of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Quality and Safeguarding Framework, it was recognised that the schemes would continue to play an important role during the transition to the NDIS but that a review should be undertaken to inform the Disability Reform Council about the ongoing role for the schemes once the NDIS had been fully implemented.

To address this, the Community Visitor Schemes Review (the Review) was co-funded by both the Commonwealth and each state and territory in 2018. 

About the Review

The Review explored the potential role of Community Visitor Schemes in the context of the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework, and makes recommendations within the overall commitment made by all governments to building a nationally consistent and responsive quality and safeguarding system that supports participant choice and control in the NDIS market. 

The Review was informed by consultations with a wide range of stakeholders including people with disability, disability advocates, state and territory government offices and community visitor schemes employees and volunteers. The project was overseen by a working group comprising representatives from all states and territories, the National Disability Insurance Agency and the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Commission, chaired and coordinated by the Department of Social Services.

The Review methods included face-to-face meetings and interviews in every capital city, as well as telephone interviews and an online survey.

Findings of the Review

The Review recommends that Community Visitor Schemes for disability, while having a broader scope than the NDIS, have a contribution to make to the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework, and that the contribution should be formally recognised within the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework.

The Review also recommends that Community Visitor Schemes, where they exist, continue to be provided by states and territories.

A finding of the Review notes support for community visiting as a key mechanism to achieve independent oversight of institutional settings both within the disability service system and mainstream settings such as justice and health, and notes adequate funding is required. The Review also notes that in the long term, there appear to be strong reasons to align community visiting of people with disability within a broader adult protection paradigm encompassing safeguarding in mental health institutions and other facilities.

Where do I go for more information about the Review?

If you would like further information on Community Visitor Schemes in your state or territory, the relevant email contacts are provided below:

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