Page 127 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 9 February 2022

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National Disability Insurance Scheme participants but for children and young people in schools, education and care and child protection. This legislation provides added safeguards for vulnerable people who may be subject to restrictive practices. The reports made to the Senior Practitioner inform practice discussions and research and allow the Senior Practitioner to tailor education, support and compliance activities to individual providers and the people they provide services to.

The interim update of the Office of the Senior Practitioner includes an update of the activities and data available to the OSP from commencement on 1 September 2018 until December 2021. The highlights of the achievements to date include 12 seminars, day-long professional development activities for providers, with each day a different topic, welcoming different researchers and practitioners from across the country; the development, with stakeholders, and publication of formal guidelines on positive behaviour support plans and positive behaviour support panels; providing the secretariat function for 88 panels to consider and authorise 220 positive behaviour support plans—of this total, 13 positive behaviour support plans were not approved; leading a project co-funded by the commonwealth to help address a shortage of appropriately skilled positive behaviour support specialists; the provision of 80 information sessions focused on increasing awareness of the act; the launch of the ACT restrictive interventions database system, ACTRIDS, in June 2021 and the onboarding of providers—to date, this is 158 service outlets; and the development of fact sheets and easy-read versions regarding restrictive practices and how to reduce their use. During the third quarter of 2021 the OSP commenced a monthly newsletter that is sent to all providers, with updates from the OSP, links to the latest research and a way to provide best practice advice and support to the sector.

To further inform the work of the OSP in implementing the act, the OSP engaged Adam Beaumont from in September 2021 to undertake an independent, high-level review. He reported on the regulatory tools and powers available to the Senior Practitioner in the context of contemporary regulatory practice and the act and how key regulatory tools and powers are being embedded into operational regulatory practice.

Work still underway includes continued collaboration with the Education Directorate to jointly develop case studies that explain restrictive practices within the context of schools; completing the onboarding of all providers onto ACTRIDS; and implementing the recommendations from the independent review, including the development of guidelines on reporting and enforcement.

The report also highlights the work the Senior Practitioner has done to further awareness and understanding of restrictive practice through education and support. I welcome the finding that, despite the challenges of the pandemic, the Senior Practitioner has improved the understanding of the infringement of human rights that occurs when there is an over-reliance on using restrictive practices.

The work to reduce and eliminate the use of restrictive practices is still relatively new. There is considerably more work to be done in educating and supporting providers, families and carers and the community in how to consider alternatives to restrictive practices. The evolving work of the Senior Practitioner to implement the act is key to

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