Communities and Justice

What is guardianship?

Guardianship is an order made by the Children's Court for a child in out-of-home care (foster care) who cannot be returned to their family for their own safety.

The child or young person will remain in the care of their guardian until they turn 18 or until the Children’s Court changes the order. Under a guardianship order, a child or young person is no longer considered to be in foster or out-of-home care but in the independent care of their guardian.

If it's safe to do so, the guardianship order will give a child or young person contact with their parents, family and other important people in their life.

Role of guardians

Until the child turns 18, the guardian has full care and responsibility for ensuring the child's emotional, social, cultural and spiritual needs are met. This includes making decisions about their health and education, and managing contact with their parents, family and others as directed in the guardianship order.

Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and other cultures

If a child or young person is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, or from a different cultural background to their guardian, a cultural support plan will be developed to keep them connected to their culture. Guardians follow this plan and encourage and facilitate the child or young person to participate in cultural activities and events.

Guardianship videos

What is a guardian?

The What is a Guardian? video has been captioned into the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Vietnamese.

To turn on captions, open the video in YouTube, click on settings and then subtitles/CC and select the required language.

How do you become a guardian to a child or young person in care?

Last updated:

18 Apr 2024