During Covid-19 restrictions, the Community Visitor Scheme continues to conduct visits via video, tele-conferencing or in-person where appropriate, to mental health facilities, state-run disability accommodation and OPA clients in the NDIS.
The Community Visitor Scheme aims to protect the rights of people living with disability or mental illness who are:
- receiving care in a mental health treatment centre
- attending a community mental health facility
- living in state-run disability accommodation
The legislative framework for the Community Visitor Scheme is informed by the South Australian Mental Health Act 2009 and the Disability Services (Community Visitor Scheme) Regulations 2013.
The Principal Community Visitor and Community Visitors are independent statutory appointments and their independence is vital to the Scheme. Community Visitors visit and inspect facilities and provide advocacy and support to the people in these facilities. Clients, carers and family members can speak freely to them, knowing they are not attached to service providers.
As from May 2019, the Community Visitor Scheme no longer conducts visits to non-government disability accommodation service providers, Supported Residential Facilities or Day Options programs. Disability clients and their families who are receiving services through non-government organisations are now subject to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, who have a range of quality checks such as audits, registration and complaints handling, and will visit clients if concerns are raised through a combination of these checks.
The Community Visitor Scheme will continue to visit state-government-funded accommodation sites.
The CVS will continue to build upon its successful foundations and safeguarding role into the future and is working with the Office of the Public Advocate to extend CVS visitations to people with disability who are under the Guardianship of the Public Advocate. This is expected to be in operation by early 2020.
You can read the legislation relevant to the Community Visitor Scheme on other websites: