Supportive guardians and administrators

A supportive administrator or supportive guardian helps an adult act on their own decisions, when the person has disability.

A supportive administrator or supportive guardian helps an adult act on their own decisions, when the person has:

  • a neurological or intellectual impairment
  • a mental disorder
  • a brain injury
  • a physical disability
  • dementia.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) can appoint these support roles for an adult who lives in Victoria. We do this by making an order, which is reassessed each year.

Where to get advice

The Office of the Public Advocate can give you more advice about support roles. They promote and protect the rights of people with disability. 

What it means to be a supportive guardian or administrator

A supportive guardian supports a person with their lifestyle decisions. This includes decisions about their:

  • living arrangements
  • work arrangements
  • medical treatment
  • access to people and services.

A supportive administrator supports a person to make decisions about their financial affairs. This includes decisions about:

  • buying or selling property
  • banking
  • investing
  • paying bills
  • managing debts.

Both roles provide support to a person with disability by performing any of the following:

  • accessing, collecting or obtaining information to assist the supported person
  • relaying information about them to others
  • communicating the supported person’s decisions, or helping them to communicate their decisions
  • carrying out or acting on their decisions.

Responsibilities of a supportive administrator or supportive guardian

In a support role, you must:

  • follow the principles outlined on this page
  • discuss decisions in a way that the person can understand
  • help them make decisions
  • protect them from neglect, abuse or exploitation.

You must always:

  • act honestly, diligently and in good faith
  • use reasonable skill and care
  • not use the position for profit
  • avoid taking action if there is, or may be, a conflict of interests.

You must put the person’s interests first. You must not:

  • help the person do anything illegal
  • coerce, intimidate or unduly influence them to do something.

If you become aware that the person has died, you must report this as soon as possible by writing to VCAT.

The responsibilities (duties) of support roles are outlined in section 94 of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2019.

General principles

In a support role, you must follow these principles.

  • You need to find out the ‘will and preferences’ of the person – that is, what’s important to them.
  • What’s important to the person must guide their decisions, as far as practical.
  • You must act in the way that least restricts the person’s ability to make and act on their own decisions, given the situation.

You must support the person, as far as practical, to:

  •  make and take part in decisions affecting them
  •  express what’s important to them
  •  develop their capacity to make decisions.

The general principles are outlined in section 8 of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2019.

Powers of a supportive administrator or supportive guardian

The powers VCAT gives to someone in a support role depend on what the person with disability needs.

A supportive guardian or supportive administrator can be given the power to:

  • get private information or help the person to do this. For example, access confidential health or financial information
  • share this information with others
  • communicate the person’s decisions, or help them to do this
  • take reasonable steps to put certain decisions into action.

The powers that VCAT can give to someone in a support role are outlined in section 90 of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2019.

How we make decisions

When something’s not working                

We can reassess an order for a support role if it’s no longer working for the people involved.

Apply for a reassessment

Apply to appoint a supportive guardian or administrator

Get ready to apply

Related pages

When there’s a VCAT application about you

Find out what this means, how you’re involved, and what happens next.

How we make decisions

Find out how VCAT makes decisions in a case about guardians and administrators.

Other things we can do

We can help resolve issues or give you advice about existing guardianship, administration, supportive guardianship or supportive administration arrangements.