The TAC recognises that universal human rights and protections apply to all TAC clients and we support our clients to exercise these rights. We are committed to influencing attitudes, values and behaviours to protect people’s health and wellbeing and their civil and human rights.
We are developing a safeguarding framework that will allow us to partner with our clients, providers and employees so that:
- Our clients are empowered to express preferences, make choices and speak up if they feel unsafe or at risk
- Our clients have appropriate referral options for reporting concerns
- We can build client, provider and employee capability to prevent, identify and respond to abuse, neglect and exploitation
- We can ensure that providers have effective systems and processes in place to keep TAC clients safe from abuse and neglect and to respond appropriately if an incident occurs.
Our framework is being developed in line with:
How to report abuse or neglect by a TAC funded service
Call: 1800 931 233 (your call can be anonymous)
The TAC Abuse and Neglect Report line is an information and referral line that you can use to report abuse or neglect by a TAC funded service.
The report line is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You can also email email@example.com. We will reply to your email within one business day.
We consider abuse and neglect to be:
- Abuse is the ‘violation of an individual’s human or civil rights, through the act or actions of another person or persons.’
- Neglect is a ‘failure to provide the necessary care, aid or guidance to dependent adults or children by those responsible for their care.’
In case of emergency, call 000 for attendance by Ambulance, Fire or Police services. If you think a crime has been committed or is being committed, contact your local police.
Using the report line
The specialists who answer calls on this line understand disability, are sensitive to the needs of people with disability and are aware of issues in the disability sector. In some instances, they will be able to provide immediate advice to you.
We encourage you to report:
- Your name, address and age (if necessary)
- Some information about the service or situation in which the abuse is occurring
- The name of the person or persons responsible for the abuse
- The name, age and address of the person being abused.
Your privacy and confidentiality is important to us, however, if you inform us of an immediate danger to you or another person, we may be required to inform emergency services for your safety.
The report line will be open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, but as it is not an emergency or crisis line, may not be answered at all times. If no one is available to take your call, you can leave a voice message or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make a report
- Call 1800 931 233 (toll free) and speak with an experienced report line specialist
- Or contact us in writing by sending an email to email@example.com
- If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment, contact us through the National Relay Service National Relay Service (NRS) by calling 1800 555 677 and give the report line number – 1800 931 233.
- Callers from a non-English speaking background can use the Translating and Interpreting Service Translating and Intepreting Service (TIS) by calling 13 14 50.
If the call is not related to abuse and/or neglect by a TAC funded service:
- For TAC claims-related enquiries call 1300 654 329.
- For complaints or compliments regarding the TAC, contact the Review Manager on 1300 654 329, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use our complaints or compliments online form.
What is abuse and neglect?
Abuse is the ‘violation of an individual’s human or civil rights, through the act or actions of another person or persons.’
Neglect is a ‘failure to provide the necessary care, aid or guidance to dependent adults or children by those responsible for their care.’
The TAC considers abuse and neglect to include the following:
- Physical abuse - This includes but is not limited to inflicting pain of any sort, and causing harm or injuries or causing bruises, fractures, burns, electric shock or any unpleasant sensation. It can also include unauthorised restraints and restrictive practices.
- Sexual abuse - Sexual abuse is generally defined as a sexual activity that a person has not consented to, and it can refer to a broad range of sexual behaviours that make the victim feel uncomfortable, frightened or threatened. Sexual offences can include rape, incest, indecent offence, child sexual offence and sexual molestation.
- Emotional or psychological abuse- Verbal assaults, threats of maltreatment, harassment, humiliation or intimidation or failure to interact with a person or failure to acknowledge that person’s presence.
- Domestic/Family Violence - Domestic/Family violence is a range of abusive behaviours perpetrated in the victim’s home by someone who is well known to them. (Applies also to Sexual, Emotional/Psychological, Systems, Financial & Neglect)
- Financial abuse - The improper use of another person’s assets or the use or withholding of another person’s resources.. Taking advantage of the vulnerability of a person with disability in order to use them, or their resources, for another’s profit or advantage.
- Neglect - Failure to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing, protection, supervision, medical and/or dental care, or to place persons at undue risk through unsafe environments or practices. This can include wilful deprivation, crimes of omission or negligence and emotional neglect.
Systems abuse - Failure to recognise, provide or attempt to provide adequate or appropriate services, including services that are appropriate to the person’s age, gender, culture, needs or preferences. Failure to implement policy and practice that protects people’s rights.
How does the TAC approach abuse and neglect?
The TAC takes a zero tolerance approach to the abuse or neglect of our clients.
We have dedicated staff who monitor the quality of care our clients receive. They aim to prevent, detect and respond to any abuse or neglect allegations and subscribe to the National Disability Services and the disability sector Zero Tolerance of abuse framework.
How do we protect your privacy?
The TAC will use the information to investigate claims of abuse or neglect. We may disclose the information to service providers, law enforcement agencies or regulatory bodies when required to by law, or when permitted to by privacy laws. We will aim at all times to protect your privacy and may contact you to advise when we disclose the information.
You can contact us to get a copy of the information you provide to the TAC.
Who should you speak to?
You can speak to anyone in your treating team about the quality of your care. You should keep speaking to people until you feel the matter has been resolved.
Your care will not be affected if you raise your concerns. The TAC will continue to support you and make sure your needs are met.
There are also other agencies that can help:
(Police, Ambulance, Fire Brigade)
Aged Care Complaints Commissioner
1800 550 552
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
1300 419 495
Commission for Children and Young People
1300 782 978
Department of Human Services Child Protection Services (Victoria)
Disability Services Commissioner
1800 677 342
Health Complaints Commissioner
1300 582 113
Lifeline (24 hours)
13 11 14
National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline
1800 880 052
1800 RESPECT (24 hours)
1800 737 732
National sexual assault, domestic or family violence counselling service
‘Safe Steps’ Family Violence Response Centre
1800 015 188
Sexual Assault Crisis Line
1800 806 292 (free call)
Victorian Mental Health Commissioner
1800 246 054
Wesley life service finder
Online resources for TAC clients and their families
The links below are to non-TAC online resources that relate to quality and safeguarding.