New laws protect Victorians in supported residential services.
Two elderly men reading the paper.
6 July 2012
New laws governing the operation of Victoria’s supported residential services (SRS) are now in force to provide better protection for residents.
The new laws, which started on 1 July, fall under the Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Act 2010 and are designed to protect the safety, wellbeing and rights of vulnerable Victorians living in SRS.
The laws provide stronger enforcement and monitoring powers, as well as more powers to act where there is a pattern of poor regulatory compliance.
Residents will benefit from new financial protections, including the new requirement to set up a trust account for residents and new limits on the type and amount of up-front payments that can be charged.
New statutory occupancy rights will also reduce the risk of residents being unfairly made to leave. Proprietors of supported residential services will also benefit from a new streamlined administration process.
Supported residential services are private businesses that deliver accommodation and personal support to people who can no longer live independently at home, including older Victorians, people with disabilities and people with a mental illness.
There are currently 165 supported residential services in Victoria. SRS are registered and regulated by the Department of Health.
The new laws detail the minimum requirements for operating an SRS including staffing; standards for accommodation; support and medication; complaint handling; and set new mandatory reporting requirements for serious incidents.
The accommodation and support standards have been developed to ensure that support services are tailored to meet the individual needs of residents.
Further information on Victoria’s supported residential services is available here - www.health.vic.gov.au/srs