Report on Guardianship for Vulnerable Adults

Report on Guardianship and Decision-Making for Vulnerable Adults

The Victorian Auditor-General recently assessed the effectiveness of the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) and the Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS) in providing guardianship and investigation services for vulnerable adults.

In Victoria, the OPA serves as a guardian of “last resort” for people living with a disability who are unable to make decisions for themselves and lack a suitable person to help them. The Auditor-General’s report highlighted the crucial role of the OPA in supporting thousands of vulnerable adults annually, albeit under challenging circumstances. Learn more about guardianship and administration.

The report identified areas for improvement within the OPA’s operations:

  • Timeliness in appointing guardians
  • Quality of engagement with clients
  • Record-keeping practices
  • Resource allocation for effective service delivery
  • Monitoring of staff performance to uphold clients’ rights and interests

The report recommends enhancements in documentation, client engagement, staff training, data management, and overall planning and oversight. It also suggests improvements for the DJCS in planning, recruitment, and performance measurement.

In response, the OPA reiterated its dedication to enhancing guardianship and investigation services, aligning with the recommendations from the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO). An action plan outlined in the report will guide the OPA in implementing these changes.

VAGO has released a short video explaining the report and upcomign changes. You can watch the video below, at the VAGO webpage or on the official VAGO YouTube channel.

For more details, the full report is available on the Victorian Auditor-General Office webpage.