Safeguards & Monitoring: Summary Report and Landscape Review

Mental health community-managed organisations (CMOs) play a crucial role in achieving the goals of the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan and Living Well: A Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW.  These plans both envision an expanded role for the community-managed mental health sector with an emphasis on strengthened safeguarding, monitoring and compliance processes. CMOs are important because they provide support for people with mental health conditions living in the community and facilitate improved access to services and programs that embody a trauma-informed recovery-oriented practice approach. Through increased access to these services, the sector supports individuals to stay well and out of hospital, while offering greater choice and control.

Major changes to the service delivery environment have increased the focus on ensuring that services are safe and high quality. These changes include the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which has a self-contained quality and safeguarding framework; community-provided services being commissioned by both Primary Health Networks and NSW Health, or where CMOs provide a range of services under different Commonwealth or state funded programs that are integrated at the point of service delivery. Providers are increasingly collaborating and forming partnerships to deliver on the broad range of supports people need, many delivered through innovative approaches.

MHCC considered it timely to examine the function and effectiveness of safeguarding and monitoring mechanisms across community-managed mental health services. With funding from NSW Health, Mental Health Branch, MHCC set out to investigate whether there is a need for the sector to have further or changed safeguarding and monitoring in the light of transforming service delivery environment.

The project undertook analysis, informed by consultations and a Landscape Review, in order to outline the national and NSW policy context and document the safeguarding and monitoring mechanisms that apply to CMOs providing psychosocial supports in NSW.

The project sought to identify the implications of national and state reforms for mental health CMOs in NSW that are registered NDIS providers, as well as for those who are not. Furthermore, to explore and document examples of international and other states’ models of safeguarding and monitoring for CMOs providing psychosocial supports; and draw tentative conclusions to be tested through further research and consultation.

The Summary and Landscape Review and areas for future action can be read here.

For any further information about this project please contact Corinne Henderson at 


Read the review here