The Malta Independent 2 June 2023, Friday
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Updated: Investigation into alleged abuse by two carers launched

Wednesday, 24 May 2023, 16:10 Last update: about 8 days ago

Aġenzija Sapport and the Social Care Standards Authority received confidential reports over the past days relating to alleged abuse by two carers on a person with disability at Dar Arka in Gozo, a government statement read.

The Social Care Standards Authority launched an investigation to establish the facts. The investigation has now passed on to the police who started investigating, the government said.

The two carers are suspended from their duties.


This was confirmed by the Diocese of Gozo in a statement, which said that the workers had been suspended over reports in the previous days about "physical abuse" on a resident.

The statement said that the matter was passed on to the police, the Social Care Standards Authority and Agenzija Sapport for handling.

The Diocese also said that a disciplinary board had been appointed so that the necessary steps can be taken, and that the case had been reported to the Diocese's own safeguarding commission.

The National Parent's Society for Persons with Disability said in a statement it is deeply disturbed by the recent allegations of physical abuse at the Dar Arka Respite Centre in Għajnsielem. We strongly condemn any form of mistreatment or abuse against individuals with disabilities and emphasize the need for swift action and justice.

"We commend the Ministry for Inclusion, Aġenzija Sapport, the Social Welfare Standards Authority, and the police for their prompt response and commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of the residents," the statement said.

As an organization dedicated to advocating for the rights and welfare of persons with disabilities, and their families, we believe appropriate measures must be taken to prevent such incidents. We call upon all relevant authorities and stakeholders to conduct thorough investigations, support the victims, and implement comprehensive safeguards to protect the vulnerable population.

Dar Arka plays a vital role in providing essential services and support to individuals with disability and their families. It is distressing, the association said, to learn that a place meant to offer care and assistance has become the setting for alleged abuse. We encourage the Arka Foundation and the Gozo Diocese to take immediate and decisive action to address the issue, including a transparent investigation and implementation of robust safeguarding measures.

Additionally, the association urged the government to ensure that the ongoing investigations are conducted diligently and with utmost priority to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. It is vital to restore trust in the system and reaffirm the commitment to safeguarding the rights and well-being of individuals with disabilities.

The National Parent's Society for Persons with Disability remains committed to advocating for the rights, dignity, and inclusion of persons with disabilities in society. We stand in solidarity with the victims and their families during this challenging time and will closely monitor the progress of the investigation.
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