Last month we shared with you information about what Guardianship is. We hope this was helpful to those who are considering talking with their case managers/workers in relation to this.
Now we want to provide you with more details about the Guardianship process.
How is the Guardianship process commenced?
Firstly, once you have made contact with your identified worker and flagged the interest of Guardianship (or maybe they have raised it with you first) an in-depth review will be conducted to see if the journey towards Guardianship is best suited for the children/young people in your care. The review will also consider if Guardianship is suitable for you. Once these things have been determined, a conversation with the birth family needs to take place (where this is possible). This allows the birth family to understand Guardianship and what it means for them as the parents of their children. If all parties agree, an assessment (face to face interviews) will be undertaken to make sure you meet the competencies required.
What is assessed during a Guardianship assessment?
The carer/family member (kinship carer) wishing to undertake an Guardianship assessment will need to demonstrate the following:
- That they can work independently without the support of any agency. Ideally they are self-sufficient and already receiving limited support.
- Established relationships with the child/ren / young people/person in their care.
- An in-depth understanding of the trauma the child/ren / young people/person in their care may have experienced.
- The ability to continue to meet their cultural needs.
- A respectful and working relationship with parents, siblings and significant others that can be maintained by the prospective Guardian (including organising and supervising contact).
- Ability to provide a safe environment.
What happens after the meetings and assessment?
If you are caring for a child/young person over the age of 12, they will need to give written consent for the order to be changed. The child/young person is supported with this application.
Following all meetings and assessment interviews, a report is written and presented to your local Family and Community Services (FACS) office for the secretary of FACS to give consent for the application to proceed.
For more information about the guardianship assessment process, please contact us.