Role and responsibilities of guardians
The information on this page is for guardians appointed by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
The VCAT order will specify the types of personal and lifestyle decisions the OPA guardian may make for the person. These could be decisions about:
- accommodation - where the person lives, or does not live, and with whom the person lives
- access to services - for example, home care services, an Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) assessment, day placement or services funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
- access to the person - including restricting or prohibiting particular people from having contact with the represented person
- medical treatment.
A guardian cannot make decisions about the finances of the person with a decision-making disability.
- act as an advocate for the represented person
- act in the represented person’s best interests
- make decisions that are least restrictive of the represented person’s freedom of decision and action
- take into account the represented person’s wishes and give effect to those wishes wherever possible when making those decisions
- encourage the person to participate in the life of the community
- encourage the represented person, as far as possible, to make decisions and act for themselves
- protect the person from neglect, abuse or exploitation.
Safeguards and reviews
Guardians can contact both OPA and VCAT for information and advice on guardianship issues. OPA's resources include Good Guardianship 2018.
Guardianship orders are usually of limited duration. They are reassessed annually (unless VCAT orders otherwise). Once major decisions are made and implemented and guardianship is no longer needed, the order is usually revoked.
Guardians are accountable to VCAT for the decisions they make. VCAT can reassess and if necessary revoke an order if there is concern that a guardian is not acting in the best interests of a represented person.