Text reads: Children and young people with disability.

Submissions, research and reports

CYDA’s submission to the NDIS Review’s consultation into NDIS Participant Safeguarding

CYDA policy submission.

⚠️ Content note: Discussion of violence and abuse in relation to children and young people with disability.

Introductory letter from CYDA CEO Skye Kakoschke-Moore. The full submission can be read by downloading the Word or PDF versions above.

Isobel Sloan 
Senior Adviser 
NDIS Review Secretariat 
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet 

3 July 2023 

Please accept this letter and response to the NDIS Safeguarding draft proposals (refer Appendix A) as Children and Young People with Disability Australia’s (CYDA) submission to the NDIS Review’s consultation into NDIS Participant Safeguarding. 

Children and young people with disability are a particularly vulnerable group where abuse and neglect is concerned. CYDA frequently hears of experiences of abuse in a range of settings. These include children being subjected to violence, seclusion and chemical, mechanical and physical restraint without accompanying positive behaviour support strategies in place. 

The typical experience of abuse reported by CYDA members is reflected in available research, which states children with disability are three times more likely to be abused than other children.  Children with communication difficulties and high behaviour support needs are believed to have a significantly higher risk of experiencing abuse.   

As a result of system failures and pervasive negative discourses and attitudes about people with disability, children and young people are at heightened risk of experiencing abuse and maltreatment. While the prevalence of abuse is difficult to fully ascertain because of gaps in data collection and reporting, researchers have established that:

  • Children and young people with disability experience higher rates of violence and abuse than other children, and often experience multiple and ongoing episodes of violence.at more than three times higher risk of physical violence 

  • Compared to their non-disabled peers, children with disability are:
    • at nearly three times higher risk for sexual violence
    • over four times higher risk for emotional abuse and neglect 

It is imperative that the proposal to provide safe-guarding in the NDIS is strong, effective, promotes high quality and provides robust safeguards. Our response focuses on issues of relevance to children and young people with disability.

Without targeted and adequate research, data, policy responses, action and intervention, children and young people will continue to feel the safety, social and economic impacts for a lifetime.

Please refer to the attached Appendix A for CYDA’s responses to select draft proposals as outlined in the consultation paper. If you would like to know more about our submission or CYDA’s work, please feel free to contact CYDA’s Policy and Research Manager, Dr Liz Hudson on (03) 9417 1025 or [email protected].

Kind regards,
Skye Kakoschke-Moore
Chief Executive Officer

CYDA policy submission.