The Australian aged care system is governed by the Aged Care Act 1997. A critical component of this legislation is ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of residents in aged care facilities is monitored and protected.
As part of its safeguarding mechanism, the legislation has compulsory reporting provisions for unlawful sexual contact and assault. Aged care workers must report the following to local Police and the Department of Health:
A ‘reportable assault’ is defined as:
- unreasonable use of force on a resident, ranging from deliberate and violent physical attacks on residents to the use of unwarranted physical force, or
- unlawful sexual contact, meaning any sexual contact with a resident without consent.
Aged care staff must make a report regardless as to whether the assault is suspected or confirmed. Reports must be made to the Police and the Department of Health within 24 hours.
For further information:
Compulsory Report Line: 1800 081 549