Official Community Visitors

We are responsible for coordinating the Official Community Visitor (OCV) scheme.

Who are Official Community Visitors?

Official Community Visitors are appointed by the Minister for Disability Services and the Minister for Community Services under the Community Services (Complaints, Reviews and Monitoring) Act 1993 (CS-CRAMA).

There are 30 Official Community Visitors. They come from a wide cross-section of the community including people with a disability, parents and relatives of people with a disability, ex-state wards, people who were in care as children, advocates and professionals.

Official Community Visitors are coordinated by the NSW Ombudsman. However they are independent from our office and responsible directly to the Minister for Disability Services and the Minister for Community Services.

Services visited by Official Community Visitors

Official Community Visitors visit most government and non-government accommodation services for children, young people and people with a disability throughout NSW. They also visit people living in licensed boarding houses.

Priority is given to visiting residents who are at greatest risk.

Role of Official Community Visitors

The role of Official Community Visitors is to promote the best interests of children and young people in out-of-home care and children, young people and adults with a disability in care. They provide advice to the Ministers and the Ombudsman about the quality of care provided to residents.

Official Community Visitors

  • inform the Ministers and the Ombudsman about the quality of services

  • promote rights

  • identify issues raised by residents

  • provide information

  • help resolve issues of concern at the local level.

Obligations of Official Community Visitors

The Community Services (Complaints, Review and Monitoring) Act 1993 requires Official Community Visitors to:

  • respect the rights of residents

  • take all reasonable steps to get the permission of a person before inspecting any document directly relating to them

  • ensure the confidentiality of any information obtained during a visit, only disclose it when there is a good reason and, if possible, obtain the authority to do so from the individual and their advocate.

Requesting a visit by an Official Community Visitor

If you would like an OCV to visit you can send an email ocv@ombo.nsw.gov.au.

Need more information

For more information about the Official Community Visitor scheme, please contact the OCV Team Leader on 02 9286 1000.

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