What is a Welfare Guardian?

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We promote self-advocacy for the people we support.

However, we also recognise that some people may require a higher level of support, particularly when it comes to decision making.

Families and others are welcome to apply to the Courts to have a Welfare Guardian appointed, but they must prove the person requires a Guardian and that the person nominated is suitable.

A Welfare Guardian is someone the Family Court appoints to make decisions about the personal care and welfare of a person who’s unable to do so for themselves.

These are decisions that only relate to health, care and living.

A Welfare Guardian does not control any money or property, which must be done through a separate Property Order.

The process of applying to become a Welfare Guardian is free when you fill in the paperwork yourself, but can cost up to $4000 if you use a lawyer.

The Welfare Guardianship application documents include:

Applications can take four-eight months to go through the Court and there is generally no Court appearance.

A Court-appointed lawyer will investigate the facts and provide a report to the Judge, who will decide if an Order should be made.

We’ve provided, above, a guide to help you fill in the documents and any further documents can be found on the Ministry of Justice website.

If the person for whom the Order is sought is support by Spectrum, we MUST be provided with a copy!

If you have any questions, please contact our Advocacy Services Team and speak to the Advocacy Lead on 09 634 9762.

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