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Frequently asked questions

How does the Public Advocate find out about adults with decision-making disabilities who may need a guardian or administrator?

Anybody concerned about a family member or friend, who is having difficulty making decisions, may contact the Office of the Public Advocate through the Telephone Advisory Service.

Alternatively, an application may be lodged with the State Administrative Tribunal to appoint a guardian or administrator. The Tribunal may ask the Public Advocate to conduct an investigation to help determine whether a guardian and/or administrator should be appointed.

How will I know if the Public Advocate is involved with a member of my family or a friend who has a decision-making disability?

Parties closely involved are usually advised of an investigation by the Public Advocate.  Exceptions are made where disclosure might compromise the estate or safety of the person with the disability.

When the Public Advocate is appointed as a person's guardian, interested parties known to the Public Advocate are informed in writing of the appointment.

Is the Public Advocate involved in all applications made to the State Administrative Tribunal?

No, where the matter is straightforward and all interested parties are in agreement that a private guardian or administrator should be appointed, the Public Advocate is not usually involved.

When is the Public Advocate involved with applications to the State Administrative Tribunal?

The Public Advocate can become involved at the request of the Tribunal or following a community-referred investigation which reveals a need for advocacy on behalf of a person with a decision-making disability.

This may happen if the application involves:

  • abuse
  • conflict about a decision that needs to be made
  • a contentious treatment decision
  • a decision that is against the will of the adult with the decision-making disability.

What are the fees for the services of the Public Advocate?

The State Government of Western Australia funds the Office of the Public Advocate and there is no fee for advocacy and investigation, or guardianship services. There is a small cost for training sessions and education materials.

How can I get more information about the work of the Public Advocate?

You can contact the Telephone Advisory Service from 9am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday, or you can download Office of the Public Advocate publications from this website.

Last updated: 18-Dec-2015

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