New approach to information sharing in child protection practice

Information sharing

Reforms introducing a new approach to information sharing come into effect on 27 September 2018. This new approach enables sharing to promote the wellbeing and safety of children and support effective assessment and management of family violence risk, and for Child Protection, simplifies the basis for sharing to allow you to do your job well.

What will be different from 27 September 2018 for child protection practitioners?

Under the CYFA

Information sharing under the CYFA will be simpler to understand and explain, and will align with the Child Information Sharing Scheme.

Investigation teams no longer need to authorise people to receive information arising from an investigation.

See

Information sharing - policy

Information sharing in child protection practice – Our approach/ Information sharing

Privacy legislation and Child Protection – Our approach/Information sharing

Child and family violence information sharing schemes

Child Protection becomes a prescribed information sharing entity under the Child Information Sharing Scheme and the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme.

These schemes expand the circumstances where prescribed organisations and services can share information with each other to promote the wellbeing or safety of a child or group of children, and to assess and manage family violence risk.  

The schemes are designed to work together to allow professionals to respond to the range of risks and needs for children, to keep perpetrators of family violence in view, and to promote the safety of victim survivors of family violence.  

Where you did not have the ability to share information previously, these reforms put the wellbeing and safety of a child or group children ahead of the right to privacy. They establish an expectation that relevant information will be shared with other prescribed professionals.

In relation to children, the best interests and developmental frameworks guide practice.

Where family violence is present, information sharing is to be guided by the Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM).

See

Child information sharing scheme and Child Protection – Our approach/Information sharing

Family violence information sharing scheme and Child Protection – Our approach/Information sharing

What’s the same?

The Child Protection Manual continues as the primary point of reference for your work.

Where you have already been able to share information legally, you may continue to do so.

Although the legislative provisions are changing, there is no change to information sharing practice during the intake phase.

Continue to record in CRIS. There will be a new ‘Information Sharing Scheme’ case note type specifically to capture information sharing requests and responses under either scheme. This will assist with measuring any effect on workloads as a result of obligations under the new schemes.

From the first day, you may receive requests for information under one of the schemes. There is information in the manual to guide you. Check this first. Then consult with your team manager. They can seek advice from the central information exchange team if necessary.

Resources and information

For more information about the reforms, which organisations they apply to, guidelines, training registration and other practice resources, visit www.infosharing.vic.gov.au 

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