Skip to main content

Public hearing 20: Preventing and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation in disability services (two case studies)

The Royal Commission held Public hearing 20 from 7 to 14 December 2021. An additional day for oral submissions was held on 28 April 2022.

Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and impacts, most witnesses participated remotely and the hearing was conducted online. The hearing was not open to the public but was live streamed on the our website.

Public hearing 20 continued the series of Royal Commission hearings examining how disability service providers prevent and respond to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. In the course of this examination, the Royal Commission will also inquire into how the current systems of funding and oversight of disability services protect people with disability from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

This hearing focused on two case studies relating to the experiences of people with disability who received accommodation and support services from Life Without Barriers. One case study focused on a group home in Victoria and the other on a group home in northern New South Wales.

This hearing examined:

  • how Life Without Barriers responded when people with disability to whom it was providing services were the subject of abuse by a support worker and/or a third party and whether it took adequate steps to prevent that abuse

  • issues of resident to resident violence and how Life Without Barriers sought to prevent and respond to that violence

  • how funding for services and supports impacted people with disability and may have rendered them vulnerable to ongoing violence and abuse

  • how Life Without Barrier’s structures, governance, systems and culture may have affected the services and supports provided to the people with disability who are the focus of the case studies

  • the external oversight of disability services, from the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and others, to prevent violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation and to respond when complaints or allegations are made

  • any related matters.