November’s privatisation of Victorian disability services could lead to more cases of abuse and a higher turnover of staff at Colac group homes, a union says.
The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is leading to the privatisation of State Government-managed disability services, including group homes in Colac where Colanda residents are currently transferring to.
A Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson said disability services in group homes across Victoria would transfer to non-government specialist disability accommodation providers, with the department retaining properties.
“Services and staff in Colac and Geelong group homes, including the new homes built for Colanda residents, will transfer to the not-for-profit specialist disability accommodation services provider Home@Scope.
“The department will continue to provide monitoring and oversight of all group homes, to ensure the successful providers meet the highest standards of quality, safety and workforce development,” the spokesperson said.
Health and Community Services Union’s senior organiser and Nalangil resident Angela Carter said the union opposed privatisation under the NDIS and had run a long campaign to stop it, due to its belief that privatisation wouldn’t provide the quality and safety required in disability services.
“We were able to, fortunately, negotiate outcomes for the services to ensure that when they were transferred to the non-government sector that the same conditions and provisions applied to those group homes under the current arrangements, which goes somewhat to ensuring you retain a well-trained workforce that have conditions that allow for safety and quality services to be provided.”
See today’s Colac Herald for more.