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What is Other Person Guardianship (OPG)?

Other Person Guardianship provides children with a loving and stable care environment – where their current carer becomes their legal guardian.

The Youth Court can appoint up to 2 people to become the legal guardians of a child. 

What's different?

When children are under a guardianship order, carers usually have to ask the department for permission before making a lot of basic decisions. 

Under an OPG arrangement, carers become the child's legal guardian and have day-to-day parenting responsibilities. 

This means carers can make more decisions without having to ask the department, including decisions about the child's:

  • health
  • education
  • holidays
  • emotional, social and cultural needs

While OPG carers can make most decisions, birth parents do keep some decision-making responsibilities

OPG and adoption

OPG is not adoption. 

Adoption permanently changes the legal status of the child and severs all rights of the birth parent as they are no longer recognised as the child's parents. 

OPG sees the child maintain a connection with their birth family. As an OP guardian, you are responsible the child maintaining that connection. 

OPG is not a pathway to adoption either - those interested in adopting must follow a different process

Who can be an OPG carer?

If you have had a child in your care for 2 consecutive years and are committed and willing to care for them for the long term, you may be eligible to become an OPG carer. 

There are a number of eligibility criteria you must also meet - see OPG process for more details.

When OPG is not appropriate?

Sometimes an OPG arrangement may not be the best option for the child right now, but may be into the future. 

OPG is only appropriate when the interest of the child, the carer and the birth parents have been thoroughly considered and the OPG eligibility criteria have been met. 

OPG Policy

Additional information about the OPG process can be found in the Other Person Guardianship Policy (PDF 706KB)

Contact

Contact your Department for Child Protection caseworker for more information about OPG. 

You can also download the OPG brochure (PDF 878KB)