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Preventing Abuse

Preventing abuse means having clear policies and guidelines in place that are built on human rights and practices which maximise the empowerment of people with disability and person-centred approaches.

Prevention is also about creating the right organisational cultures; ensuring staff have the right values, experience, attitudes, supervision and training. It’s about clear and transparent processes where feedback is sought, people can speak up without recrimination and there is a prompt response.

Practice Advice 1: Recruitment and Supervision: Information to assist service providers to use recruitment and screening processes to prevent potential abusers gaining employment. It provides useful tips that should form the basis of any good human resources processes for organisations that support people.

Practice Advice 2: Supervision and Safety: Information to assist disability service providers to use management, supervision and training to reduce the risk of abuse, neglect and violence toward people with disability using their services.

Practice Advice 3: Positive Complaints Cultures [in development]

The Safer Services Toolkit
safer services toolkit logo

People with disability make decisions about services based on quality, safety and availability. The mantra of choice and control means specialist disability service providers need to pursue best practice when it comes to safeguarding people accessing services.

To make services safer, organisations need the right tools, training to support best practice. The Safer Services Toolkit provides practical tools and resources to enhance service quality and safeguarding systems and practices.

The Safer Services Toolkit complements NDS Zero Tolerance resources and is based on research by NDS WA in partnership with Curtin University that identified stakeholder experiences, perceptions and understandings of safeguarding practices of disability service organisations. The research included direct feedback from people with disability, families, advocates and service providers.

Safer Services toolkit: Overview (List of resources)

The Safer Services Toolkit can help organisations to build their internal capabilities and ensure all stakeholders including people with disability, families, staff and managers are part of this process. As a first step the Toolkit provides a Safer Services Plan followed by a suite of useful Safeguarding in Practice tools in line with the domains of the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework:

  • Developmental
  • Preventative
  • Corrective

It also offers a second suite of Change Readiness tools to support organisations implement changes to their safeguarding practices and culture. The tools are in three stages:

  • Preparing for Change
  • Making Change
  • Embedding Change

The Safer Services project was funded by Lotterywest.

lotterywest logo

The Safer Services Plan assists organisations to identify their vision for best practice in safeguarding, explore current practices, strengths, gaps, areas for improvement, and actions to follow. Organisations can also identify Quality and Safeguarding Champions and involve them in the development of the Safer Services Plan.

Safer Services Plan A4 Printable Infographic:

The Safer Services Plan:

Quality and Safeguarding Champions

There are nine Safeguarding in Practice Tools to assist organisations to:

  • Improve awareness and understanding of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect
  • Create safe and transparent organisational cultures
  • Respond and report concerns and incidents of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation

Developmental Tools

Developmental Tools assist organisations to increase awareness and reflect on organisational values and consider issues such as abuse, neglect, supported decision making and duty of care. These tools help organisations identify areas for continuous improvement and develop action plans.

Talking about Safer Services


acilitators Guide:

Facilitators Worksheet:

Key Conversations:

Key Conversations Facilitators Guide:

Key Conversations Facilitators Cards:

Values Based-Practices:

Preventative Tools

Preventative Tools support organisation’s to reflect on the maturity of their commitment to safeguarding and to develop meaningful structures and processes that supports safer services. These tools also support continuous improvement and action planning.

Policy Development Checklist:

Organisational Health Check:

Safeguarding Meeting Kit:


Corrective Tools:

Corrective Tools assist organisations to establish processes to support staff to raise concerns, undertake investigations and to appropriately debrief staff after an incident has occurred.

Resoponding to concerns:

Poster:Form:Investigations Workbook:Debriefing Tool:

The Change Readiness Tools provided a process to support the implementation of changes to safeguarding. The tools can be used to build a culture that involves all stakeholders in the change. This suite of tools has three stages:

  • Preparing for Change
  • Making Change
  • Embedding Change

Preparing for Change:

Our Change Vision:Establishing a Change Leadership Committee:Change Readiness Checklist for Managers:Change Leadership Guidance:Change Communication Plan:My guide to change readiness:

Making Change:

A fair culture approach:Implementation Intentions:Maximising Performance Framework:Before Action Planning and After Action Reviews templates (BAP/ABR):

Embedding Change:

Continuous Improvement Ideas Submission Form:Recognition and Rewards Roadmap:

Links to other useful resources:

Contact information

For any enquiries on the Safer Services Plan and Toolkit, please contact Carmen Pratts-Hincks, Project Lead - Quality and Safeguarding, 08 9208 9856,

For any enquiries on Zero Tolerance, please contact Liz Collier, Project Lead - Zero Tolerance, 03 8341 4317,

© National Disability Services (NDS) 2017 applies to NDS Zero Tolerance logo, Zero Tolerance Framework and The Empowerment Circle.

Copyright permissions
NDS grants permission for users to copy, distribute, display, download and otherwise freely deal with Zero Tolerance resources for any personal or organisational purpose, on condition that proper acknowledgment is included on all uses.Any use of zero Tolerance resources for commercial gain is strictly prohibited.