Change of staff at OPA
At the end of February 2023 some OPA staff are leaving on early retirement packages.
Because we have several Advocate Guardians leaving at this time, we will need to complete recruitment and training for new Advocate Guardians to replenish our workforce.
This needs to occur before all existing cases (Guardianship orders) can be reallocated to an individual guardian.
To make sure OPA is meeting our obligations and is able to be responsive to urgent needs of the people we work with (represented persons), we are establishing a new process for some guardianship cases.
In situations where a represented person's Advocate Guardian is leaving, and there are no immediate decisions required to be made, that represented persons case will be actively responded to by a dedicated team of experienced Guardians and Guardianship Support Officers on a needs basis. This team has significant experience with Guardianship orders and will be overseen by the OPA Manager Guardianship & Advocacy.
This will help make sure that everyone who has a guardianship order with us can expect that decisions will continue to be made with and for you when needed.
How will decisions be made?
When a decision needs to be made for a represented person without an individual guardian, one guardian from the designated response team will engage with the represented person to understand will and preference.
If a decision needs to be made, the represented person should contact OPA with a request for a decision to be made. OPA will require the following information:
- what is the current decision that needs to be made
- when does the decision need to be made by
- who does the decision need to be communicated to.
Following this, standard decision-making protocols will be followed, including prioritising will and preference and having decisions that go against will and preference escalated for a manager to review.
OPA Advocate Guardians, like all guardians, must follow the process and comply with the duties set out in the Act. This includes exercising reasonable skill and care.
These processes and making sure all activities are undertaken in compliance of the duties set out in the Guardianship and Administration Act 2019, take time. How long it will take to make a decision will depend on all the circumstances.
OPA is currently recruiting and will strive to have individual Guardians appointed as soon as practical.