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 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).

The Ombudsman oversights and coordinates the scheme, but OCVs are independent from our office.

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

Requesting a visit by an Official Community Visitor

If you would like an OCV to visit, you can send an email to ocv@ombo.nsw.gov.au or contact the OCV Team on 02 9286 1000.

Need more information?

For more information about the OCV scheme, please contact us on the above details or see:

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