Corio Police approached Gateways Support Services in August 2011 to discuss the concept of using their existing Community Register framework for children with autism who lack awareness of danger and could be at risk, where police involvement may be required.
Up until then, the community register had mainly been used with elderly people.
Gateways consulted with families, other disability agencies and DHS staff who were all supportive of this idea. This was seen as also being useful for some adults as well as children with autism and with some other disabilities where safety issues occur.
A small working group developed a modified format for the disability community register and this was trialled with families to seek their feedback before the format was finalised.
Once further revisions were made, the Community Support Register for children and young people with autism and other disabilities was launched on January 10th 2012.
Interested families can choose to participate in this program as a safety measure to be used in emergency situations. They can register their family member’s personal details, interests, communication style and key contacts for use in an emergency.
The information for this Geelong initiative is stored at the Corio Police station and is completely confidential. The register uses trained volunteers who enter the information into the Community Register database. It will only be accessed by police and other emergency personnel when a safety emergency is reported.
If a child or young person who lacks awareness of safety risks is missing, families are encouraged to contact police immediately to initiate a search as quickly as possible.
Information stored on the Community Register also assists police by giving guidance about how to approach the child/young person in a reassuring way.
How to Lodge a Geelong Disability Community Support Register Form.
Wherever possible, information should be typed on the form to ensure clarity and accuracy of information. Current service providers may be able to assist families but all forms must be signed by the individuals’ guardian indicating they have given permission for information to be stored in the Geelong Disability Community Support Register.
Completed forms can be returned to Gateways and other service providers who will scan them and email them to the Disability Community Support Register.
Alternatively, completed Geelong Disability Community Support Register forms can be mailed to Corio Police, Bacchus Marsh Road, Corio 3214.
If you would like more information, please contact Gateways or see link to community register below or phone the Corio Police on 52739555 and ask for the Geelong Disability Community Support Register.