Guardianship is a court order that can be made for a child in out-of-home care. The child or young person will remain in the care of their guardian until they turn 18 years of age or 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. Why become a guardian? Guardianship orders are a way of helping ensure a child or young person has a permanent, stable and safe home until they are 18 years and beyond, without cutting legal ties to their family. As a foster carer who has a child in your care you may choose to become a guardian to provide a child with stability and independently meet their long term needs without the involvement of an agency. After a guardianship order is made, you as the guardian have full care and responsibility for a child or young person in your care. You make decisions about the child or young person’s health and education, and also ensure their emotional, social, cultural and spiritual needs are met, as outlined in their care or case plan. The child or young person will still have contact with their parents, family and important people in their life, as outlined in their care or case plan or court orders. This means you are responsible for arranging, coordinating and (where required) supervising safe contact between the child or young person and their birth family members. What support is provided to guardians? Guardians receive financial assistance through a fortnightly payment to help meet the needs of the child or young person, called the guardianship allowance, based on the individual needs of the child or young person as outlined in their care or case plan. Guardianship orders are an independent means of meeting a child’s long-term needs and the child or young person is no longer considered in foster care, so FACS or your Agency no longer provide formal support. Who can become a Guardian? To become a guardian for a child or young person you could be a relative or kinship carer, an authorised foster carer who has cared for that child or young person for some time, or another suitable person. To find out more about guardianship for a child or young person in out-of-home care contact: Your caseworker, the out-of-home care agency, or FACS. FACS guardianship information line on 1300 956 416 Fostering NSW information line on 1800 236 783 FACS website Connecting Carers NSW on 1300 794 653 or The Aboriginal Child, Family & Community Care State Secretariat (NSW) Inc. (AbSec) Foster Care Support Line on 1800 888 698. You can also contact your local FACS Community Services Centre.