A primary carer is someone providing care and support to the resident (section 7 of the Act defines a ‘primary carer’). A guardian is a person or persons appointed as legal guardian for the resident, in accordance with the Adult Guardianship Act.
A primary carer and guardian have the following rights under the Disability Services Act:
- To be consulted in relation to orders being sought under Act (section 9);
- If orders are made, to be consulted in relation to the preparation of the resident’s positive behaviour support plan and be provided with a copy (section 36);
- When the positive behaviour support plan is reviewed annually, to be consulted at this stage (section 39);
- If they have any concerns with the restrictive interventions in the resident’s positive behaviour support plan, to apply to a specially constituted Panel to review the use of restrictive interventions in the plan (section 40);
- To be notified by the Department of Health if a resident absconds from a facility (section 30);
- To be able to make a complaint ( section 46) and, following this, to be kept informed of the progress of the investigation and any action taken (section 48); and
- To be able to contact a Community Visitor in relation to the resident’s care and treatment under the Act (section 58).
In addition, a resident’s guardian may request written information regarding the complaints procedures (section 45).
The rights of primary carers are also recognised in the Carers Recognition Act (NT).