Human Services Regulator

The Human Services Regulator plays an important role in regulating human services to minimise harm and to protect the safety and rights of children, young people and adults who receive human services that are funded and/or regulated by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.

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 Secretary of the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (the department) arising from the:

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:

  1. Child Safeguarding Regulation
  2. Standards and Regulation (including Supported Residential Services Regulations)
  3. Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  4. 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:

The Human Services Regulator delivers a state-wide regulatory compliance and enforcement program by:

  • Conducting regular inspections of in-scope services and investigating alleged breaches of legislative obligations 
  • Responding to notifications and monitoring risk
  • Providing compliance guidance and direction and, as relevant, imposing proportionate sanctions where organisations fail to meet legislative requirements and place service users at risk.

Our approach

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, relevant departmental program areas and other peer regulators to ensure that services are delivered safely across a range of sectors. These stakeholders include:

The Human Services Regulator’s approach to promoting and monitoring the regulatory compliance of in-scope organisations is outlined in the department's:

The Human Services Regulator is a sector regulator for the Child Safe Standards. The Child Safe Standards aim to reduce and prevent abuse occurring in organisations working with children and young people. For more information on the Child Safe Standards and the Human Services Regulator’s role, please visit the department’s Child Safe Standards webpage.

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. On 16 September 2021, Parliament passed the Social Services Regulation Act 2021 (the Act), which gives effect to a comprehensive new regulatory scheme for Victorian social services.

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:

  • Children, youth and families
  • family violence
  • homelessness
  • supported residential services
  • disability services not within the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

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 will replace the current Human Services Regulator and provide 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 2024 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).

More information

Contact the Human Services Regulator: