Royal Disability Fee: Manager apologizes for failures in care

A manager of a disability assistance program where clients have been mistreated by a staff member claims that he is not responsible for the horrific incidents.

One of the executives of a beleaguered disabled service says it was human resources – and not his – to blame for shocking cases of customer abuse.

The Royal Disability Commission heard on Thursday that Mount Druitt health worker Daniel Nuumaalii was arrested and charged by police in May 2020 when explicit images and videos were found on his phone depicting cases of client mistreatment while working at Afford.

Last year Nuumaalii pleaded guilty to 22 counts of intentionally recording an intimate image without consent, four counts of intentionally distributing an intimate image without consent, and a common assault count. He was sentenced to three and a half years.

His district manager at the time of the crime was Wayne Adamson, who has since been promoted to executive manager of Afford’s lifestyle centers.

At Thursday’s hearing, Mr. Adamson said he did not feel responsible for what happened to Mr. Nuumaalii’s victims.

“No, everything was done right. I mean, I couldn’t predict what was going to happen, ”Adamson said.

Mr. Adamson said they and their families should be given an apology.

“What happened to those customers is horrible, it goes against everything we all stand for,” he said.

“You can’t change what happened, just acknowledge and offer those sincere apologies. It should have been done at that time. “

In connection with Mr. Nuumaalii’s abuse, the former district manager said the organization’s human resources department was responsible.

“The way it worked is that everything was controlled by human resources,” Adamson told the committee.

“I’m just trying to understand why Mr. Wise or anyone else in Afford could have come to the conclusion that there was actually nothing we could have done to stop this,” said the Commission President.

“It just seems that the relevant questions or many of the relevant questions have not been asked.”

“You’re right,” Mr. Adamson replied.

The commission was also told on Tuesday that it took Afford two years to notify the NDIS commission of a “reportable” incident that occurred in July 2019, when an Afford customer became ill after being fed solid food.

“Afford operated on a very serious misconception of his responsibilities regarding reportable incidents, which resulted in not being given the correct medications,” Royal Commission President Ronald Sackville said Tuesday.

Mr. Adamson said he was not provided with any reportable incident training when he began his role as district manager at Afford.

He was asked about the allegations my parents made to Afford’s clients following the news of Mr. Nuumaalii’s abuse that Afford had made no effort to assure them that their family members would be safe at the center going forward.

He said this response was guided by instructions from his line manager and chief executive officer.

After the abuse came to light, a policy suggested by Sally *, one of the mothers of the abuse victims, was adopted to allow families to control new staff working with their children.

The policy was eventually scrapped and Mr. Adamson admitted that the NDIS Commission had not been informed that the policy was temporary.

Mr. Adamson said Afford made no effort to manage the ongoing trauma experienced by the victims of the abuse.

He stated that, in his recollection, Afford did not undertake any risk assessment on the risks that allowed Mr. Nuumaalii to commit the crimes of him.

Afford has since updated their abuse and neglect policy, provided cell phones to staff, and updated their recruiting policy to engage team leaders and district leaders.

“I want to send personally and on behalf of Afford my heartfelt condolences to those affected and their families involved,” for the failures and pain they have caused, “read a statement released Thursday by Afford CEO Joanne Toohey.

“We understand that we must work to identify and mitigate risks and we are and will continue to do so to ensure the safety of the people we support.”

* Sally is a pseudonym provided by the commission.

Originally published as The Disability Service Manager claims not to be responsible for failures that have led to abuse

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