Key information

  • The Child Safety Service can apply to the court for the guardianship of a child or young person to be transferred to their carer, who they feel happy and safe living with.
  • Many children and young people who have had their guardianship transferred to their carers have felt happy and relieved.
  • It provides stability and security, and improves their sense of belonging. 
  • The Child Safety Service hand over responsibility for your care and stop being involved.

How does it work?

There are lots of things that need to be done to transfer guardianship. The Child Safety Service talk to you, your carers and your parents. They then go to court, as a judge has to decide what happens.

It’s important you tell your care team if you think it’s a good idea or not. If you don’t really understand what this could mean for you, please ask questions.

After the transfer of guardianship, your carer will organise contact with your family. Sometimes, you may choose not to have contact with your birth family, for different reasons. For example, some children don’t know who their birth parents are, and some choose not to see them (and that’s ok, too).

What do guardians do?

A guardian has these responsibilities, until the child turns 18 years old:

  • take care of you
  • has parental responsibility for all aspects of the child’s care (just like a parent!)
  • makes all decisions about the child’s care, wellbeing and development
  • looks after the child’s Will.