1. What is the purpose of this operational guideline?
This Operational Guideline is intended to provide guidance in relation to determining who will be a child's representative (i.e. the person/s responsible for undertaking acts and making decisions on behalf of a child) for the purposes of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act).
Generally, a child's representative will be the person who has, or the persons who jointly have parental responsibility for the child. Therefore, this Operational Guideline will also provide guidance in relation to determining who has parental responsibility for a child, and when it will be appropriate for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to appoint another person as a child's representative or decide that a child can represent themselves.
2. What is the relevant legislation?
- Sections 3, 4, 5, 9, 74 - 77, 99 and 100 of the NDIS Act (External website); and
- National Disability Insurance Scheme (Children) Rules 2013 (External website) (Children Rules).
A child is a person who is under 18 years of age (section 9).
The NDIS Act requires and permits participants to do a range of different things for the purposes of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). For example, participants must prepare a statement of goals and aspirations, and may make a plan management request.
In this context, a child will be assumed not to be able to do the things required under the NDIS Act, and instead these things will be done on behalf of a child by the child's representative.
Generally, a child's representative will be the person, or the persons who have parental responsibility for the child (see determining who has parental responsibility for a child) (section 74(1)(a)).
However, a child's representative will be a person other than the person, or persons with parental responsibility where the NDIA:
- decides to appoint another person (see determining whether a person other than a person with parental responsibility should be a child's representative) (section 74(1)(b)); or
- decides that a child can represent themselves (section 74(5)).