⚠️ Content note: Reference to violence and abuse of people with disability.
In light of the shocking findings presented by ABC Four Corners in their report ‘Careless’ last night, Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) calls for urgent reform to the NDIS and its Quality and Safeguards Commission.
While the ABC investigation noted the transformative potential of the NDIS for many Australians, this was overshadowed by a darker narrative about a deep systemic failure to safeguard children and young people with disability.
CYDA CEO Skye Kakoshcke-Moore said the report illuminated a tragic reality – that a scheme designed to support and uplift young people with disability is instead facilitating their abuse, neglect and exploitation.
“It is both shocking and disturbing that children and young people with disability can be ‘lost’ within a system designed to support them and exposed to such heinous forms of abuse and violence,” she said.
“Our consultations with young people and their families have long emphasized the necessity for a more robust NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.
“Now, more than ever, their voices and demands must be heeded.”
Ms Kakoschke-Moore stressed these experiences do not start or stop with the NDIS.
This month, Victoria’s Department of Education released the ‘Incidents of Restraint and Seclusion’ report which collated thousands of cases in which children in the state’s schools were forcibly restrained between 2019 and 2022.
This is another glaring testament to the vulnerability of children and young people with disability, and the perilous situations they encounter in places where they should feel safe and supported.
“It is imperative now, with the public’s attention on this pressing issue, that we rally all levels of government to dismantle harmful practices and systems that perpetuate segregation and silence,” Ms Kakoschke-Moore said.
“Every child and young person, regardless of their ability, must be prioritised, respected, and valued.”
CYDA is the peak body representing the rights and interests of young people with disability aged 0 to 25 in Australia and has more than 5000 members.
“A high-quality service is one where the participant can see that the provider genuinely cares about them as a human being, do their job properly and provide the participant with the support they need”
– De-identified young person with disability, September 2023
For more information or further comment, please contact CYDA:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (03) 9417 1025