Do you need to speak to us about the quality or safety of a TAC funded service?
You have the right to access safe and good quality treatments and supports free from abuse or neglect. If you have concerns about the quality or safety of the support you have received by a TAC funded service, you can contact TAC Safer Services Support.
This will put you in touch with a TAC Safeguarding Specialist. You can do this by phone or email:
- Call 1800 931 233. This line is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Your call can be anonymous. If you need to leave a message, we will contact you within one business day.
- Email email@example.com. We will reply within one business day.
About TAC Safer Services Support
TAC Safer Services Support provides TAC clients and the community a pathway to raise concerns or complaints about the quality and safety of TAC funded services.
This could be anyone who is funded by the TAC to help support you in your recovery, such as providers of allied health, disability support, attendant care, medical services or domestic services.
The TAC Safeguarding Specialists who respond to your concerns understand human rights, are sensitive to the needs of people accessing supports in the health, trauma and disability field and are informed about current challenges our clients face in the community.
TAC Safer Services Support is an information and referral service. It is not an emergency or crisis line.
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.
If your concern is not related to the quality or safety of a service you have received by a TAC funded service:
- For TAC claims-related enquiries call 1300 654 329.
- For complaints or compliments regarding the TAC, contact the Complaints Manager on 1300 654 329, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use our complaints or compliments online form.
How to contact TAC Safer Services Support
You can reach an experienced TAC Safeguarding Specialist by:
- Calling 1800 931 233 or emailing email@example.com.
If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impediment:
- Contact us through the National Relay Service (NRS) by calling 1800 555 677 and giving them TAC Safer Services Support line number: 1800 931 233.
If you are a caller from a non-English speaking background:
- Contact us through the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) by calling 13 14 50.
Information you can provide
When contacting TAC Safer Services Support, we encourage you to provide:
- Your name, address and age (if necessary)
- The name, age and address of the TAC client subjected to abuse or neglect
- Some information about the service or situation relating to your concerns about quality or safe services
- The name of the person or persons responsible for the abuse or neglect
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.
What is quality and safeguarding?
TAC Safer Services Support is an initiative driven by our strong commitment to zero tolerance and is a key deliverable within our quality and safeguarding framework.
Quality is defined by the TAC as services that:
- focus on providing positive outcomes for people who use those services.
- involve individuals in service design, promote continuous improvement, and monitor performance to improve the services.
- have mechanisms to ensure people have a way of raising concerns and resolving issues.
Safeguarding is about actions designed to protect the rights of people to be safe from the risk of abuse or neglect, while maximising the choice and control they have over their lives. Safeguards can include:
- Informal safeguards such as self-advocacy and building a network of trusted relationships.
- Formal safeguards such as legislative and administrative requirements, policies and practices, organisational culture that promotes human rights, and complaints processes.
Find out more about quality and safeguarding at the TAC.
What is abuse and neglect?
Abuse is when your human rights are violated by the actions of another person or when you are taken advantage of in a way to benefit someone else.
Neglect is the failure to provide necessary care, aid or guidance to someone who needs it.
Abuse and neglect can happen:
- Deliberately – when someone wants to harm or take advantage of a person.
- Accidentally – when someone did not realise that their actions were abuse, neglect and exploitation. Or they did not realise the impact that their actions had on people they were supporting.
- Systemically – when staff are not trained, supervised properly, supported adequately to do their job, or there is not enough funding to meet needs.
Some of these actions constitute criminal acts, other are simply unethical. Abuse and neglect are unacceptable in any form they occur, however the above factors may influence when, where and how a person makes a report.
For example, police should be contacted immediately where deliberate harm is caused and the person is currently at risk. Whereas, if you became aware of an assault that occurred in the past and the person is not currently at risk, the person can be encouraged to reach out to the appropriate authorities when they are ready.
How are types of abuse defined?
Physical abuse can be defined as:
- Inflicting or threatening unpleasant sensations or pain that cause physical harm or injuries.
- Using unauthorised restraints (taking away someone’s control of their body)
Sexual abuse can be defined as:
- Engaging in any sexual activity that a person has not consented to or where one person is in a position of power over another.
- Behaving in a sexual way as to make a person feel uncomfortable, frightened or threatened.
Psychological abuse can be defined as:
- Actions that humiliate, harass or emotionally injure another person. Including threats of maltreatment, verbal assaults, intimidation, failure to interact with a person or failure to acknowledge that person’s presence.
- In essence, it involves someone saying or doing things to make another person/other people feel bad.
Financial abuse can be defined as:
- Taking advantage of a person to use their generosity, assets and resources (or withholding them) for profit or advantage.
- Stealing someone’s money or property.
- It can also often involve using finances (money) to control someone, have power over them, scare them or restrict them.
Neglect can be defined as:
- Denying someone the things they need to live a safe, comfortable and healthy life.
- It mainly affects people who require help with performing daily tasks.
Systemic abuse can be defined as:
- Failing 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.
- Failing to implement policies and practices that protect people’s rights.
Domestic or family violence can be defined as:
- A range of abusive behaviours perpetrated by someone who is well known to them. These behaviours sometimes continue even after the victim has left the home for a new location.
What does the TAC expect safe services to look like?
- We expect our providers to provide safe, quality services and to treat our clients with dignity and respect.
- We expect providers to promptly and thoroughly act on any concerns they have about the welfare of a TAC client.
- We will support any client, family member, carer or provider who wants to speak up.
- We will take action when we learn of any instance of abuse or neglect.
- We expect all TAC service providers to meet industry standards.
What will a TAC Safeguarding Specialist do?
If you chose to contact a TAC Safeguarding Specialist, we will work with you to determine the most appropriate way to support you to resolve your concern.
This may include:
- gathering more information about the situation to support and direct your concerns.
- providing confidential information and advice about the rights of a TAC client to receive safe services.
- providing a referral pathway to another service who has the authority to investigate or make further enquiries about your concerns.
- working with TAC providers to raise awareness about TAC clients rights to receive quality and safe services.
- working with TAC providers to promote the provision of services that meet industry and mandatory reporting requirements.
- working with you, your claims manager or other services to develop a safeguarding plan to support quality and safeguarding outcomes in line with your will and preferences.
- raising awareness about services and strategies available to safeguard the rights of TAC clients who may be at risk of abuse or neglect.
What does a TAC Safeguarding Specialist not do?
- We are not a crisis service and do not provide crisis support.
- We do not have authority to investigate allegations.
- We do not duplicate the work of other services. However, we support you and others to follow appropriate complaint pathways.
- We do not provide case management services. However, we support the TAC claims manager and your treating team to explore additional services and help prepare a safeguarding plan.
How do we protect your privacy?
We will seek your consent and respect your wishes to remain anonymous. This may affect the amount of information we can share or provide to resolve your concerns.
We may use the information about your concerns of abuse or neglect to provide pathways to the appropriate agency or authority to investigate or progress your complaint.
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 request a copy of the information you provide to the TAC.
Who can you speak to if you have concerns about the quality of your care?
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.
The TAC expects that your care will not be affected if you raise your concerns. We 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 Quality and Safety Commission
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
NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
1800 035 544
Office of the Public Advocate
1300 309 337
1800 RESPECT (24 hours)
1800 737 732
‘Safe Steps’ Family Violence Response Centre
1800 015 188
Sexual Assault Crisis Line
1800 806 292
Victorian Disability Worker Commission (VDWC)
1800 497 132
Victorian Mental Health Complaints Commissioner
1800 246 054