United Voice members and WA Labor have worked together to create a clear vision for the future of security checks in the disability sector.
The ‘Clear Card’ is a pre-employment screening system to ensure disability direct care workers have undergone appropriate background checks, before they are permitted to work with people with disabilities.
Shockingly, more than half of people with disabilities who rely on residential care have suffered abuse, violence or neglect at some point in their life.
WA is one of the only states that does not yet have a vigilant system to screen non-government Disability Support workers.
The Clear Card will ensure people who have been convicted of abuse, violent crimes or other criminal behaviour cannot gain employment within the sector.
WA Labor have also committed to introducing a more encompassing reporting system, so abuse can be reported direct to authorities by all employees. This will bring WA into line with public service employees and other States, which have effective ‘whistle-blower’ laws in place to report abuse of people with disabilities.
Shadow Minister for Disability, Stephen Dawson, said it was unacceptable that there are currently no safeguards to prevent people that have been convicted of these crimes from gaining employment in the disability sector.
“The statistics around abuse and neglect speak for themselves and the new laws are a long time coming,” he said.
“WA Labor is committed to greater safety and transparency in the disability sector. It’s our expectation that all Members of Parliament will support this Bill and bring the CLEAR CARD to WA.”
United Voice member and Disability Support Worker, Wanita said members have been lobbying for these changes and are proud to stand with WA Labor.
“We provide essential care and support to people with disability and, sadly, we know that abuse and neglect exists in WA.
“As direct care workers we believe it is essential that legislation be introduced so that only people who have passed a comprehensive pre-employment screening process and training are allowed to work with people with disabilities.”
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