Official Community Visitors

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

Who are Official Community Visitors?

Official Community Visitors(OCVs) 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 OCVs. 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.

OCVs 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 OCVs

OCVs 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 OCVs

The role of OCVs 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.

OCVs:

  • 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 OCVs

The CS CRAMA requires OCVs 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 consent of the individual and their advocate before doing so.

Requesting a visit by an OCV

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 OCV scheme, please contact the OCV Team Leader on 02 9286 1000.

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