What does a Community Visitor for adults do?
The OPG’s adult community visitors independently monitor different types of accommodation called ‘visitable sites’ where vulnerable adults live. A visitable site is defined under the Public Guardian Act 2014 as a place other than a private dwelling house, where an adult/s with an impairment, or with impaired capacity lives, that is also any of the following:
- authorised mental health services
- the Forensic Disability Service
- residential services with level 3 accreditation
- premises where a funded adult participant lives and recieves services or supporrs that are:
- paid for wholly or partly from funding under the national disability insurance scheme (NDIS); and
- provided under the adult’s participant’s plan; and
- provided by a registered NDIS provider that is registered under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth) section 73E to provide a relevant class of supports; and
- are within the relevant class of supports.
The ‘relevant classes of supports’ means any of the following classes of supports under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth):
- high intensity daily personal activities
- assistance with daily life tasks in a group or shared living arrangement
- specialist positive behaviour support that involves the use of a restrictive practice
- specialist disability accommodation.
Community visitors make inquiries and lodge complaints for, or on behalf of, residents of these visitable sites who are referred to as ‘consumers’. Community visitors have the power to refer complaints to an external agency—such as the Department of Communities, Queensland Health, or the Residential Services Unit—where appropriate.
Issues of concern
Issues that may be investigated include whether:
- adequate services are provided for assessment, treatment and support
- the standards of accommodation, health and wellbeing are appropriate
- services are provided in a way least restrictive of rights
- adequate information is available for consumers about their rights
- there is an accessible and effective complaints process in place.
OPG community visitors can also investigate other concerns—at the request of the Public Guardian—and refer unresolved complaints to external agencies for investigation or resolution.
Visits to accommodation sites
Community visitors conduct regular announced and unannounced visits to sites. They visit between 8am and 6pm any day of the week, including weekends. Unannounced visits are conducted so that community visitors can observe the standard of service delivery provided by the site on a typical day. Community visitors apply their inquiry and complaint functions (as defined in section 41 of the Public Guardian Act 2014) to identify issues for or on behalf of consumers. They will escalate issues to management if required, or in some cases may refer the issue on to an external agency for investigation.
Community visitors have the legislative authority to:
- access all areas of a site
- require staff to answer questions
- request documents related to the support of consumers
- make copies of relevant documents
- talk in private with consumers or staff.
Community visitors are required to:
- notify staff when they arrive at the site
- discuss any concerns with consumers and staff
- clarify any issues when reasonable and practical to do so
- resolve complaints by or for a consumer
- report to staff when leaving the site.
After each visit the community visitor produces a report which is sent to the service provider.
Download our fact sheet
If you have concerns for the wellbeing of a consumer who resides at a visitable site please contact us:
Phone: 1300 653 187 (local call outside Brisbane)
Fax: (07) 3738 9496