Suzanne* gets the support she needs

*name changed

Suzanne is 42 years old and has an intellectual disability. She lived with her mother from the time she was born until Suzanne’s mother died unexpectedly. Left alone and without her mother to take care of her, Suzanne became very sick and was admitted to hospital.

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) appointed the Office of the Public Guardian to look after Suzanne’s personal and health needs, and the Office of the Public Trustee to look after her finances.

The Public Trustee supports more than 9000 vulnerable Queenslanders each year and in most cases, is appointed by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) as a financial administrator for people who have impaired capacity.

Suzanne had never received any Centrelink payments and she had never had her own bank account, so the Public Trustee’s staff helped her to apply for regular support payments and took her to the bank so she could open a bank account in her name for the first time.

With the assistance of her Public Trust Officer and the Office of the Public Guardian, Suzanne applied for her own NDIS plan and is now making plans for independent living arrangements.

To help people like Suzanne, the Public Trustee has introduced a range of support initiatives for customers with a cognitive disability including a new Structured Decision Making framework to support decision-making for people with impaired capability.

The new Structured Decision Making framework involves a seven step process, taking into account the views, wishes and preferences of customers and their support networks, and providing a shared decision-making experience when it comes to their finances.

The Public Trustee has also developed a Financial Independence Pathway to help more customers to develop skills to manage their own finances and enable people like Suzanne to live independently.

With the introduction of the Human Rights Act in January 2020, the Public Trustee is committed to delivering on its obligations. In the past twelve months, the Public Trustee has introduced a Customers First Agenda, developed a Social Responsibility Charter and updated the Strategic Plan 2020-2024.

Private administrators, trusted friends and family members are all considered as the preferred choice before appointment of the Public Trustee. However, where the Public Trustee is appointed, we are committed to protecting our customers’ rights, dignity and interests and ensuring we put our customers at the centre of everything we do.

If you would like more information about personal financial administration visit QCAT Administration for adults, the Office of the Public Guardian or contact the Public Trustee on 1300 360 044 for advice.

Last published: 7/04/2021 1:04:06 AM