Guardianship

Guardianship

Guardianship orders aim to provide greater stability for children and young people when the Children’s Court makes a decision that they cannot live with their parents.

Guardianship orders are a way of helping ensure a child or young person has a more stable, nurturing and safe home until they are at least 18 years of age, without cutting legal ties to their family.

Under a guardianship order, a child or young person is not in foster care or out-of-home care but in the independent care of their guardian.

Some of the experiences of young people at this time are illustrated on the right.

Key challenges

boy

 CHILDREN/YOUNG PEOPLE

  • Fear of not having a permanent family
  • Scared about losing contact with their birth parents /siblings/culture
  • Anxiety about making the decision to be part of a different family
  • Saying goodbye to their caseworker

Caseworker

CASEWORKERS

  • Contacting birth parents to discuss the option of guardianship before making an application to the Children’s Court
  • Organising meetings and consultations to arrange guardianships is time consuming
  • Difficult to gather detailed information for guardian assessment
  • Detailed assessments to determine suitability of prospective guardians are time consuming
  • Obtaining consent from the child or young person OR providing clear evidence that the child or young person is not capable of giving consent
  • Setting up birth family contact visits and smoothing relations between birth family and guardians to ensure meaningful contact

Things that will help

Carer

CARERS

  • Guardianship allows carers to raise their family without the need for caseworker oversight
  • Carers who become guardians continue to be paid the same allowance amount (known as the Guardian’s Allowance) and are eligible for support through services funded by FACS and the federal government

boy

YOUNG PEOPLE

  • A permanent home
  • Ability to message birth family
  • Access to information about their history and culture

WORKERS

CASEWORKERS

  • Smarter more responsive systems leading to less time gathering information
  • Ability to interact online with the child and birth family

Supporting ChildStory tools

The following tools can be used by carers, young people and workers to support Life Planning during leaving care.