Royal Commission Statement
Bedford welcomes the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.
In 2019 the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (the Royal Commission) was launched and the first hearings were held in late in 2019.
The Royal Commission will look at all of the services that are accessed by people with disability across Australia, including the government, disability service providers, schools, hospitals, workplaces, the justice system, businesses, charities and the community.
Bedford welcomes and fully supports the Royal Commission. We are committed to upholding the rights of people with disability to ensure that safe and high quality services are provided to support people with disabilities and to enable them to achieve their goals.
Bedford is an established service provider with a history of over 75 years supporting people with disability in South Australia. We recognise that people with disability are at increased risk of experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation in their lives.
Bedford will support current or past clients, employees and their families to come forward and make submissions to the Royal Commission in relation to services at Bedford or any other aspect of their lives. External advocacy support will be engaged to support current or past clients, employees or their families who seek our assistance with this process. Bedford encourages current or former staff to come forward where they have information relevant to the Royal Commission.
A dedicated team has been established to review Bedford’s past and current service delivery to identify any potential incidences of violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation of people with disability. We will be open and transparent in our response to identified events, including open disclosure with affected individuals and families. Where analysis of past events identifies opportunity to improve systems to safeguard people with disability, Bedford commits to take improvement action.
Bedford recognises the significant pain and trauma experienced by people with disability who have experienced violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation in their lives. We will provide supports including connection to counselling and mental health services. We also understand that staff can also be impacted by past events of poor quality supports to people with disability and Bedford will provide supports to staff including connection to our Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
Bedford will support and fully participate in the Royal Commission, and learn from its findings and recommendations to further enhance services to people with disability, to safeguard individuals, uphold their human rights and support them to exercise their choice and control to achieve their life goals.
People can make a submission to the Royal Commission by following the links below.
If you would like to talk to someone at Bedford about the Royal Commission or would like help to make a submission, please contact Sam Hellams, Executive Manager Client Services by email or phone 8275 0211.
Royal Commission Issues Paper
The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability recently released its latest issues paper looking at the experiences of people with disability in employment.
The Royal Commission wants to understand why people with disability are less likely to be employed and have lower incomes than people without disability. The Commission is also seeking information about people’s experiences of discrimination at work and how well specific programs designed to increase the employment of people with disability are working. The issues paper asks nine questions to help people and organisations to provide responses and is available HERE.
The Royal Commission is encouraging responses to the issues paper from individuals and organisations by 14 August, although submissions will be accepted after that date.
Counselling and advocacy services
The Department of Social Services would like you to know that counselling and advocacy services are available for people with disability who have experienced violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation; and anyone affected by the Disability Royal Commission.
People can contact the National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468 for counselling support, or ask to be connected to a counsellor or advocate near them.