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The past acts of assault towards Scope client Lee-Anne Mackey are distressing and unacceptable.

Scope has apologised to the Mackey family for the gross mistreatment Lee-Anne has endured. We continue to engage Lee-Anne and her family and work with them to identify ways to improve her care.

What we have seen through the footage shared is abhorrent and we condemn the actions of these workers.

We are committed to working with all Scope clients to ensure they feel safe and supported.

Scope has a zero-tolerance approach to inappropriate conduct towards the people we support. There should never be a repeat of this type of behaviour ever again.

At the time that we became aware in 2020, Scope reported the incident to Victoria Police, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and launched an independent investigation. Based on these investigations, Scope terminated the employment of the three perpetrators.

Scope undertook a comprehensive internal review of our processes, and we have continued to make changes to improve the way we operate, including:

  • Strengthening our quality assurance and safeguarding measures.
  • Enhancing our incident reporting framework and practises.
  • Making reporting easier and more accessible for all staff.
  • Enforcing code of conduct compliance as part of every staff member’s employment obligations.
  • Mobilising a team of qualified nurses to visit clients with complex care needs across our Supported Independent Living homes in Victoria. The service will be extended this year to New South Wales.
  • Establishing a Client Advisory Panel to help shape Scope’s policies and services, and ensure we continue to be led by the voices and experiences of people with disability.
  • Investing heavily in our culture and values, empowering all employees to be brave and speak up if something is not right.

This is confronting and it is important that the issues facing people with disability continue to be raised and recognised so that we can all do better.

It is important to note that the incident in question should not and does not define the incredible work that our team does every day to help people with disability to belong and thrive.

Scope supports all recommendations from the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, and we continue to work closely with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission to create better services and outcomes for the people we support.

We are privileged to play a role in enabling the people we support to belong and thrive, and we are committed to ensuring that everything we do with our clients is guided by compassionate care, dignity and respect.

An Easy Read version of this statement is available here.

Q&As

What did Scope do when the Mackey family raised concerns?

Scope reported the issue to appropriate authorities and commissioned expert independent investigations. These investigations resulted in a range of findings and recommendations and led to the immediate dismissal of one employee. Subsequent investigations led by Victoria Police provided grounds to dismiss the other two staff members. During that period, the two staff members were required to undertake training and transferred to a non-residential service under regular supervision. Scope also initiated a comprehensive internal review of its operations and has since put in place significant changes to improve the way it operates.

What happened to the staff who committed these acts?

The staff in question no longer work for Scope. Scope reported the incident to Victoria Police, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and launched an independent investigation. Based on these investigations, Scope terminated the employment of the staff involved.

They currently have prohibition orders meaning they cannot work in the NDIS or the wider disability sector. These are known as NDIS Banning Orders, issued by the NDIS Commissioner, and Interim Prohibition Orders issued by the Victoria Disability Worker Commission. The orders prohibit the individuals from being involved in the provision of supports and services, directly or indirectly, to people with disability. Both orders last for a period of time and are regularly re-issued.

Scope supports a lifetime ban of the perpetrators working with vulnerable people.

What happened to the other staff members in the video?

Scope’s investigations in 2020 were based on a range of evidence provided at the time. Recent media reports on the issue have brought new details forward and we are working with a range of stakeholders to obtain more information.

What’s happening now?

Scope is working hard to ensure this issue is dealt with appropriately and sensitively. Abuse is abhorrent and Scope has no tolerance for it. We remain committed to ensuring our clients at Scope receive kind, respectful and dignified support every minute of every day. Along the way, we are making changes to improve the way we operate. Central to this is providing quality support to clients across all service offerings. We are in regular contact with our clients and a range of sector stakeholders and our Executive and Board is engaged on the issue.

Although deeply confronting, it is important that the issues facing people with disability continue to be raised and recognised. We will always encourage our employees, clients and families to speak up for what is right and report any issues or concerns.

News

Scope Group appoints new CEO

The Scope Group today announced the appointment of Kate MacRae to the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Scope Group.

Kate Mc Rae

News

Coming soon: New Blacktown Social Connections

Scope is opening a brand-new Social Connections site located in the centre of Blacktown with a large variety of exciting activities at our doorstep.  Embark on fun outings that match your interests and preferences.

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