Official Community Visitors

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Changes to the Official Community Visitor scheme

From Monday 12 August 2019, the Official Community Visitor (OCV) scheme has moved to the NSW Ageing and Disability Commission.

The OCV scheme no longer sits within the NSW Ombudsman's office.

If you would like to get in contact with an OCV or get more information about the OCV scheme please contact 02 9407 1831 or visit the NSW Ageing and Disability Commission website.

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Who are Official Community Visitors?

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

OCVs come from a wide cross-section of the community, including people who have direct experience and expertise in relation to areas including disability services and supports, mental health, child protection, out-of-home care, advocacy, health care, and oversight.

What are ‘visitable services’?

Official Community Visitors visit government and non-government accommodation services providing full-time care in NSW. The focus of the scheme is on:

  • children and young people in residential out-of-home care
  • people with a disability in supported accommodation
  • people in assisted boarding houses.

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

Role of Official Community Visitors

Official Community Visitors may:

  • inform the Ministers and the Ombudsman on matters relating to the conduct of a visitable service, and matters affecting the welfare, interests and conditions of residents
  • promote the legal and human rights of residents
  • consider matters raised by residents, staff and others
  • provide information to residents about advocacy services
  • help to resolve issues of concern, by raising those matters with the provider or other appropriate bodies.

In carrying out their role, OCVs may:

  • enter and inspect a visitable service at any reasonable time
  • talk privately with residents and staff at the visitable location
  • inspect any documents relating to the operation of the service

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