At times, it may not be appropriate for persons with parental responsibility to remain the child representative. 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. We will follow any court or parenting orders, and we may temporarily stop sending correspondence and stop sharing information about the child while we review the details of a court order or while we are waiting for a copy of a court order.
In exceptional circumstances, we might need to change a child representative and decide:
- A child should be represented by someone who doesn’t have parental responsibility for them. For example, we may decide to appoint someone involved with the child’s long-term or day-to-day care, like their grandparent, as the child’s representative.
- The child should be represented by someone with parental responsibility instead of the child's guardian.
- The child does not need a child representative as they can make decisions and do things for themselves. This is more likely as the child gets closer to turning 18. Learn more about when a child can represent themselves.
There are many things we have to consider when we make a decision to change a child representative. We will consider each case individually and make a decision based on the best interests of the child.
Can we limit the number of child representatives?
Yes. Often more than one person will have parental responsibility for a child. In these cases we may decide that one or more of those persons should be the child representative for the purposes of the NDIS, instead of all of them.
When we decide who has parental responsibility for the purposes of the NDIS for the child, and 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.
We will use this information to decide who should be a child representative for the purposes of the NDIS, which may not be everyone with parental responsibility for the child. We will also consider this information when removing or changing a child representative.