We understand that abuse can be a difficult topic to talk about but we would rather have an uncomfortable conversation than the alternative.
Speak up. Say something is not right here. We can’t do anything if we don’t know anything. We have processes in place to deal with abuse or any other concerns you may have. You just need to tell us.
Definition of abuse and neglect
Abuse is when someone tries to take away your rights. Abuse is when someone does or says things to you that make you upset or frightened. You may be scared to speak out or to stop them. Sometimes a person may not realise they are hurting you. But some people do it on purpose. Either way, abuse is wrong.
Types of abuse and neglect
There are different kinds of abuse. These include:
When someone hurts your body, such as hitting or restraining you.
When someone makes you do sexual things that you don’t want to do. This can include grooming of young people and children.
When someone spends your money or takes your belongings without asking or encourages you to buy them things.
When someone does things to hurt your feelings.
When your care and support is not enough to meet your basic needs.
When people treat you differently or unfairly because of who you are, your abilities, what you believe in or where you are from. Maintaining the cultural safety of clients, young people and children is important to preventing discrimination.
We take the care, safety and wellbeing of all our clients, young people and children incredibly seriously. We have a duty of care to prevent abuse and neglect.
All staff must undergo a series of pre-employment checks prior to being offered a role. These checks include a police check at the national and international level (if the person has lived overseas for more than 12 months in the last 10 years) which checks for any criminal records.
Our staff who support young people and children or who have contact with young people and children have a Working with Children Check.
Staff working with children are also checked against the Victorian Carers Register, to make sure they can work with us. The Carers Register tells us if someone has had a past issue that makes them a risk to support young people and children. If someone is listed on this register they will not be offered employment with us.
We also check against the Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme which lists people who have been demonstrated to pose a proven risk to the health, safety or welfare of people with a disability living in shared supported accommodation. If someone is listed on this register they will not be offered employment with us.
Zero Tolerance to Abuse Booklet
We have also produced an Easy English booklet that can be a useful tool to start discussions around abuse. Ask your local office for a copy or view/download here.
If abuse is suspected or alleged, we will make sure the person is safe first and then investigate the matter following our reporting guidelines.
We support mandatory reporting of abuse, and will report all allegations or suspected abuse to young people, children and vulnerable clients to authorities.
Where can you get more information?
Who should you speak to:
You can disclose allegations of abuse or provide feedback about any aspect of your service to anyone in your care team. It’s ok to speak to whomever you prefer but please keep speaking to people until you feel your matter has been resolved. There are other internal resources that you can contact at any time to discuss your concerns. Your Area Manager or Statewide Manager oversees all of the service delivery in your region and can be contacted at your local office.
External agencies and advocates who can also assist are:
Independent complaint bodies:
Speak up to whoever you prefer. Keep speaking to people until you feel your matter has been resolved.
The Tipping Foundation and supporting organisations are here to protect your rights.
Contact us on 03 9564 1000 or firstname.lastname@example.org