NSW Elder Abuse Inquiry: now for the implementation dollars!

“CPSA welcomes the Committee’s recommendation for the role of the Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit to include case management and coordination, a step up from its current one-way-street role as an information and referral service”, said CPSA Policy Coordinator Paul Versteege on the publication of the Parliamentary Committee’s report.

“It is doubtful that the Budget 2016 allocation of $600,000 will be sufficient to cover the implementation of the recommendations relating to the Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit.

“The recommended establishment of a Public Advocate’s Office with powers to investigate complaints and allegations about abuse, neglect and exploitation of vulnerable adults would have the potential to complement the work of the Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit.

“CPSA is very pleased with the Committee’s recommendation that the NSW Police Force appoint a Vulnerable Community Support Officer in each Regional Command in NSW.

“If the Government follows through on the Committee’s recommendations relating to elder abuse prevention, awareness, education and training, the benefits of doing so cannot be overestimated.

“CPSA is disappointed that the Committee has not addressed the well-reported incidence of elder abuse in nursing homes on the basis that nursing homes are federally regulated. Elder abuse in nursing homes is occurring in NSW. NSW Police are frequently called in and matters are prosecuted in NSW courts. It is a missed opportunity for the Committee to pass the buck on elder abuse in NSW nursing homes entirely to the federal jurisdiction.

“CPSA draws attention to the conspicuous and continued failure of the NSW Interagency Policy for Preventing and Responding to Abuse of Older People. The Committee’s recommendations about ‘widespread promulgation’ and ensuring ‘service providers exercise their responsibilities’ confirms the twenty-odd year old NSW Interagency Policy for Preventing and Responding to Abuse of Older People as the deadest of dead paper tigers, but CPSA commends the Committee for attempting resuscitation.”

Paul Versteege 0410 612 182