Official Community Visitors
The Official Community Visitor (OCV) scheme is now part of the NSW Ageing and Disability Commission, and no longer sits with the NSW Ombudsman.
OCVs are appointed by the Minister for Families Communities and Disability Services, under the Ageing and Disability Commissioner Act 2019, and the Children’s Guardian Act 2019. OCVs come from a wide cross-section of the community, including people who have direct experience and expertise in areas such as disability services and supports, mental health, child protection, out-of-home care, advocacy and health care.
What are Visitable Services?
Official Community Visitors visit supported accommodation services providing full-time care in NSW. The focus of the scheme is for:
- Children and young people in residential out-of-home care.
- People with disability in supported accommodation.
- People in assisted boarding houses.
What is the role of Official Community Visitors?
Official Community Visitors may:
- Inform the Minister, Ageing and Disability Commission and the NSW Ombudsman about matters affecting residents
- Promote the rights of residents
- Consider matters raised by residents, staff and other people who have a genuine concern for the residents
- Provide information and support to residents to access advocacy services
- Help to resolve complaints or matters of concern affecting residents as early and as quickly as possible by referring those matters to the service providers or other appropriate bodies, such as the NSW Ombudsman, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and the Office of the Children’s Guardian.
In carrying out their role, OCVs may:
- Enter and inspect a visitable service at any reasonable time without providing notice of their visits
- Talk privately with any resident or person employed at the service
- Inspect any document held by the service that relates to the operation of the service
- Provide the Minister, the Ageing and Disability Commissioner, the NSW Ombudsman and the Office of the Children’s Guardian with advice and reports on matters relating to the conduct of the service.