Review Finds Yooralla has Turned a Corner
6 October 2015 at 10:16 am
One of Australia’s largest disability service providers has been found to be safer for vulnerable people after a year plagued by sexual and financial abuse scandals.
A six-month independent review of the safety and quality of Yooralla’s service provision revealed that there had been “real and significant” change to work practices.
The Department of Health and Human Services commissioned the review, which was conducted by international audit and advisory firm, KPMG, after serious allegations of abuse of disabled clients surfaced in November last year.
The organisation’s then CEO, Sanjib Roy, resigned as the result of a joint media investigation by Fairfax and Four Corners, which revealed that several former Yooralla male carers and managers had been convicted of sexually assaulting vulnerable people in their care in recent years.
The review noted that staff recruitment and training had been enhanced to facilitate better care and reduce risk, that there were more stringent checks and balances in place and that staff and customers were supported to participate in the implementation of the changed practices.
It also noted that new position, the Independent Investigator, had been established that is independent of line management. The Independent Investigator is responsible for overseeing all Category One and Two events of physical or sexual abuse or quality of support concerns.
Yooralla’s CEO, Dr Sherene Devanesen, said that KPMG recognised that the organisation had implemented a range of systems and processes and had achieved a level of maturity that was consistent with those expected in high performing organisations.
“The findings of KPMG’s report highlight Yooralla’s significant investment and commitment to improving and enhancing service quality for our customers,” Devanesen said.
“The report also makes suggestions for the further strengthening of some of our practices.
“KPMG also acknowledged the openness with which Yooralla staff and customers participated during the review process.”
The review found Yooralla did not have an internal audit process and recommended that one be introduced to ensure proper financial management.