Extract from an article by Lina Caneva
Peak Body Volunteering Australia wants the role of volunteers to be fully acknowledged in new legislation aimed at protecting people with disability from poor quality or unsafe services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The call comes in a submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Quality and Safeguards Commission and Other Measures) Bill 2017.
The NDIS Amendment Bill 2017 was introduced by the federal government to protect and prevent people with disability from experiencing poor quality or unsafe supports or services under the scheme.
“Volunteering Australia believes that to ensure that the NDIS adequately recognises and resources Volunteer Involving Organisations, Volunteering Support Services and volunteers, it is essential that volunteering is fully recognised in the Bill, and by the Quality and Safeguards Commission.
“Volunteering Australia supports the amendment in the Bill to repeal the definition as it currently stands, and instead include those engaged on a voluntary basis,” the submission said.
In February 2017, the Disability Reform Council released the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework that addressed many of the issues raised during the 2015 Senate Inquiry into violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings. The framework was developed in consultation with people with disability, carers, providers, and peak bodies over a three-year period.
Volunteering Australia’s response specifically responded to the National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Quality and Safeguards Commission and Other Measures) Bill 2017 and its relation to volunteer involvement.
“This includes the expectations of both providers (Volunteer Involving Organisations) and workers (volunteers), the costs involved in engaging volunteers safely in the NDIS, the role volunteers can play in supporting people with disability to respond to violence, abuse and neglect, the social capital derived from volunteer engagement, and the need to ensure there is adequate representation of the voice of volunteering in quality and safeguard structures,” the submission said.
“The volunteer workforce has been critical in the roll-out of the NDIS and the delivery of key NDIS programs, supports, and services.”..(continues)
SOURCE: Lina Caneva, “Volunteers Need Acknowledgement in NDIS Safeguards”, Pro Bono Australia, 02 August 2017
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