4. Principles relating to children
The following general principles which guide all actions under the NDIS Act are particularly relevant to children:
- people with disability have the same right as other members of Australian society to be able to determine their own best interests, including the right to exercise choice and control, and to engage as equal partners in decisions that will affect their lives, to the full extent of their capacity (section 4(8));
- the role of families, carers and other significant persons in the lives of people with disability is to be acknowledged and respected (section 4(12)); and
- positive personal and social development of people with disability, including children and young people, is to be promoted (section 4(16)).
In addition to the general principles which guide all actions under the NDIS Act, there are also general principles which guide the actions of people who act on behalf of others (section 5).
These further principles state that if a person with disability is a child, the best interests of the child are paramount, and full consideration should be given to the need to:
- protect the child from harm (section 5(f)(i));
- promote the child's development (section 5(f)(ii)); and
- strengthen, preserve and promote positive relationships between the child and the child's parents, family members and other people who are significant in the life of the child (section 5(f)(iii)).
The remainder of the general principles which guide the actions of people who may actor do things on behalf of others are also relevant. These principles state that:
- people with disability should be involved in decision making processes that affect them, and where possible make decisions for themselves (section 5(a));
- people with disability should be encouraged to engage in the life of the community (section 5(b));
- the judgements and decisions that people with disability would have made for themselves should be taken into account (section 5(c));
- the cultural and linguistic circumstances, and the gender, of people with disability should be taken into account (section 5(d)); and
- the supportive relationships, friendships and connections with others of people with disability should be recognised (section 5(e)).