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Welfare Guardian - Dunedin

The Otago Welfare Guardianship Trust was established to provide Welfare Guardians for persons who have been assessed as being unable to make, or communicate decisions relating to their welfare, particularly when the person lacks any suitable local relatives or friends willing to fulfil this role. The trust consists of a Board who bring various fields of expertise in social work, aged care representation, family court processes, and health and disability issues who will train and support volunteers in their role.

The extent of your involvement will vary according to the needs of the person. As a Welfare Guardian, you will:

  • make decisions about the day-to-day care and welfare of the person in matters the court has determined that the person lacks capacity to decide upon for themselves
  • promote and protect the incapacitated person's welfare and best interests
  • encourage the person to develop and use whatever capacity they do have
  • encourage the person to act on their own behalf wherever possible
  • help the person to be, as much as possible, a part of the community
  • consult with the person, and with other people the welfare guardian thinks can give competent advice about the person's care and welfare, including any relevant voluntary welfare group
  • consult with the person's property manager, if the Court has appointed one

As a volunteer, not only will you provide a vital service to the person, but also gain personal growth in the following ways:

  • You will be provided with a full training in the legislative and practical aspects of guardianship.
  • Tailored training depending on your needs and past experience
  • Full support of the trust members and ongoing refresher training

Ongoing meetings with wider team of guardians and members of the board, where you can reach out for support and advice. You can also reach out to Family Court for advice.


A Welfare Guardian will:

  • Be 20 years of age or older
  • Not have any conflict of interest with the incapacitated person
  • Prove they can act in the best interest of the incapacitated person
  • Be empathetic and honest
  • Respect confidentiality
  • Show competency in verbal and written communication
  • Have computer literacy and access to email
  • Have their own means of transport (preferred)
  • Be physically active
  • Be available at short notice if required
  • Provide 2 referees
  • Undergo a police check

A Police background check is required for this role.

Time commitment

  • While commencement period is likely to require a higher time commitment, once this has passed, some Welfare Guardians only need to touch base with the incapacitated persons care-givers to make sure all is going well on a regular basis, while others meet regularly with their person to have a cup of tea and talk about their current situation and any decisions that may need to be taken.

  • The Welfare Guardians time availability and preferences are taken into account when the Trust's Co-Ordinator is matching volunteers with those requiring a Welfare Guardian.

  • Please be aware this is a 3 year appointment, that may have periods when no assistance is required by the person.

Getting started

The first step is to express your interest by filling out the form below. We will then put you in touch directly with the organisation for more information on the role and how to proceed.

Ref: 2015

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In applying for this position I confirm that I have read the requirements of the position and believe I have the skills and attributes required to carry out this role safely and effectively.