About the Human Services Regulator
The Human Services Regulator is responsible for leading and implementing the regulatory role of the Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, and the department’s Secretary arising from the:
- Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Act 2010
- Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 – including the Victorian Carer Register
- Disability Act 2006
- Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005
In addition, the Human Services Regulator is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Human Services Standards and related independent review processes for department funded family violence and homelessness services.
The current Director, Human Services Regulator is Anthony Kolmus. The unit sits within the Strategy and Regulation division of the department.
The Human Services Regulator unit has 4 teams:
- Child Safeguarding
- Standards and Regulation (including Supported Residential Services Regulations)
- Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
- Strategy and Analytics
What we do
Our primary aim is to regulate human services to minimise harm and to protect the safety and rights of children, young people and adults who receive services bound by the following regulatory schemes:
- Child Safe Standards and Reportable Conduct Scheme (available on the department's Providers website)
- Victorian Carer Register (including section 81/82 Reports of Abuse and independent investigations) (available on the department's Providers website)
- Human Services Standards (available on the department's Providers website)
- Supported Residential Services (available on the health.vic website).
The Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement team enables the Human Services Regulator to deliver a state-wide regulatory compliance and enforcement program by:
- Conducting regular inspections of supported residential services and investigating matters of concern relating to other sectors
- Responding to notifications and monitoring risk
- Making certain that regulated entities meet legislative requirements and, as relevant, imposing appropriate sanctions.
The Human Services Regulator uses an evidence-led, risk-based approach to regulating in-scope organisations. We are collaborative, accountable, proportionate, effective and clear.
The Human Services Regulator works closely with peak bodies and other regulators to ensure that services are delivered safely across a range of sectors. These stakeholders include:
- Commission for Children and Young People
- Disability Services Commissioner
- NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
- Office of the Public Advocate
- Victorian Disability Worker Commission.
The Human Services Regulator’s approach to promoting and monitoring the regulatory compliance of in-scope organisations is outlined in the department's:
- Better Regulatory Practice Framework (Word)
- Child Safe Standards Compliance Monitoring Framework (available on the department's Providers website)
- Human Services Regulator Plan July 2019–June 2021 (Word)
- Human Services Regulator Plan on a page July 2019–June 2021 (Word).
Upcoming changes to the way social services are regulated
The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing is making changes to the way that social services are regulated.
The social services regulation reform will establish a modern and fit-for-purpose regulatory framework. The new system will establish a single set of Social Service Standards and a single registration process for hundreds of community organisations, as well as an independent regulator, with a statutory office holder to be appointed.
Services covered will include:
- family violence
- supported residential services
- disability services not within the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
It will also oversee children youth and families services.
This reform will better support safe service delivery and service users’ human rights, including freedom from harm, neglect and abuse. It will also provide a separation from policy design, funding models and service agreement management, and strengthen the regulation of department-delivered services.
New Social Services Standards will form the foundation of the regulatory framework. These will replace the current Human Services Standards and the Accommodation and Personal Support Standards. The new regulator replaces the current Human Services Regulator and provides decision-making separation between the responsibilities of the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing and decisions exercised by the regulator.
The regulator will be required to provide education and guidance to service providers and must make decisions that are intelligence-led, proportionate and minimise regulatory burden.
The reforms will be phased in from 1 July 2023 to give time for the sector to transition to the new arrangements.
To find out more, read the Social Services Regulation Reform information sheet (September 2021 update) (Word).
Contact the Human Services Regulator:
- General enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Enquiries about service provider registration: email@example.com
- Enquiries about out-of-home carer registration: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Enquiries about supported residential services: email@example.com
- Enquiries about social services regulation reform: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mail: Level 16, 50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne 3000.