Yes, a child can have more than one child representative.
Child representatives should talk to each other before doing things, or making decisions about NDIS matters, on behalf of a child. If the child representatives can’t work together on the child’s behalf, we may decide that one or more of them should be the child representatives, instead.
However, if a child has a guardian, the guardian will usually be the only child representative, even if there are other people who meet the parental conditions. In limited circumstances, we may decide that someone else should be the child representative instead of the guardian.
There may be other times we decide that more than one person can be the child representative.
What if parents are separated?
If both parents have parental responsibility, both parents can be the child representatives for NDIS purposes, even if they are separated.
Unless an order made under the Family Law Act 1975 or a law of a state or territory removes parental responsibility, the parent, or parents, who were already the child representative will continue.
We expect parents to talk to each other before doings things or making decisions about NDIS matters.
We have a duty of care to make sure that whoever is representing the child is the most appropriate representative for the child specifically for NDIS matters. If separated parents are unable to work together on NDIS matters then we may decide only one parent should be the child representative. When we decide who remains a child representative, we consider:
- What the child would like. We will try to involve the child in the discussions as much as possible or when they’re able to. This may depend on their age and disability.
- The views of all of the child representatives.
- Whether one or more of the child’s representatives are best placed to perform the duties of a child representative. This includes:
- the existing arrangements between the child representatives and the child
- who has responsibility for day-to-day parenting decisions
- which representatives can work with the other representatives and the child’s supporters in the best interests of the child.
- Whether one or more of the child representatives are willing and able to work together in the best interests of the child.
- The importance of maintaining the child’s family relationships and informal support networks. Are there any gender, cultural and language needs the child might have?
- Whether we have asked the child representatives to answer questions or provide information to inform our decision. We will also consider the answers to those questions, or refusal to answer questions or requests for information.
- Whether the child representatives’ consent to the release of information about their criminal history or their suitability to work with children.
- If they have any relevant convictions for offences under Australian laws, or state or territory laws.
- If there is other relevant information relating to the suitability of the child representatives to work with children.
If we receive information that the child is under a parenting or court order, we will need to review the details of the order and determine the impact on child representative(s) roles. This could mean that we change or limit the child representative(s) based on what it says in the order. Sometimes a parenting or court order will say whether someone without parental responsibility can still receive correspondence about their child. We will follow the details in the court order when we send correspondence or share information about the child.
Sometimes we will temporarily stop correspondence and stop sharing information about the child to one or both child representatives while we review the details of a court order or while we are waiting for a copy of a court order. This might also happen if we become aware of family violence, risk of family violence or any situation where the child may be at risk and we are waiting on parenting or court orders to say how information should be shared. We won’t change or revoke a child representative role until we receive a parenting or court order though.
The safety of children and families is very important to us. Although we already have controls in place to protect your information, there are some situations like when there is a court order, family violence or a risk of family violence, where your records with us need more privacy protection than usual. We call this restricted access. It means only a limited number of staff with special permissions can access your information.
You can request restricted access at any time. This includes if the child is not a participant.
You can contact us and ask for restricted access in person or over the phone.
Learn more about your privacy and information.
We do not disclose information to anyone other than the parents or appointed child representatives as listed on the child’s record.
If you have concerns related to someone acting on behalf of the child or receiving correspondence related to the child, you can talk to us . If you think the child is at immediate risk of harm, or have any concerns related to the child’s safety, call the police straight away.