Sharing information

Principles of information sharing when there is a child protection concern. It makes clear the exceptions when practitioners should not discuss referrals with families, and provides a checklist to be used when making decisions about information sharing.
          1. Do you need advice from your line manager before you can be confident about making the decision?
          2. Do you have a good reason to share the information? Will sharing it be part of ensuring a child is kept safe from harm and receives the best possible service?
          3. Is the information confidential? If a family has shared something with you in confidence you will need to be clear that you are going to share it with other professionals and that you would like their permission to do so.
          4. Can the information be shared in a way that protects the anonymity of the people involved? Anonomised information is not covered by the Data Protection Act and can be lawfully shared. It is still good practice to ensure there is a good reason to share it.
          5. Do you have enough concern about the child's safety and the need to make sure they are protected to justify sharing the information without consent?
          6. Has a court asked you to share the information? If you feel the information should not be shared you must get legal advice.
          7. Is the information: relevant, accurate and up to date, only shared with people who need to know and going to be kept confidential and stored in a safe place?
          8. Have you made a record of your decision to share information? It should explain why the decision was made, what the information was and the agencies and people the information was shared with.