In the 2012-16 reporting period, disability advocates reported assisting on average 42 people with family issues in any given three-month period.
|Disability advocacy Issue||Family|
|Number||42 people on average per quarter|
|Rights under the CRPD||Governments will:
|Commitments in the State Disability Plan||The Victorian government:
There has been an observable decline in the number of people reported to be seeking assistance with family issues over the four year data series, especially in the most recent year (figure 13). In the 2015-16 financial year, an average of 26 people each quarter were reported as requiring assistance with a family issue. In the previous three years, the average was 48 people each quarter.
Case study: Securing disability support when facing family conflict
Tom* is a person with a disability that was reportedly being abused and controlled by his older brother Sam*. Advocacy was requested from support service to assist Tom’s younger sibling Mark* in having a voice to raise concerns about Sam taking over Tom’s decision making powers, day to day living and happiness. Financial abuse and manipulation was also a great fear raised by support workers. Tom’s mother was in palliative care at the last stages of her life and in denial of abuse.
The advocate talked with Mark, support staff and DHHS around urgency or concerns around Tom being bullied by Sam, potential decision making being taken away and financial abuse. The advocate also visited Tom outside of the case meeting to understand his position better. The advocate met with Sam to hear his side of the story. They also attempted to connect with other family members to talk further about concerns. The advocate referred to OPA for advice and a disability legal service for legal advice. A VCAT Officer was also involved regarding the emergency guardian issue to ascertain a position in an accommodation offer that would have been ideal for Tom with his brother Mark.
It was agreed not to involve Tom’s mother, given her situation and not stressing her further was an important goal. The advocate determined that working with the team of people around the brothers was better option, as well as empowering the support staff and encouraging them to use their voice to raise concerns was better option.
* names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals
- Executive Summary
- Data integrity
- 1. People receiving disability advocacy services
- 2. Identified characteristics of people receiving disability advocacy services
- 3. Advocacy issues
- Appendix: Data tables