My Health Record and children in out-of-home care policy

Follow this policy when a child is in out-of-home care and you need to establish when child protection have the authority to access a client’s My Health Record.

Document ID number 1126, version 1, 8 March 2019.

Introduction

My Health Record is an online summary of an individual’s key health information. Records can be viewed securely online at any time and are personally controlled.

The role of child protection in relation to My Health Records varies and is dependent on the Children’s Court order the child is under.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) can only access a child’s My Health Record when the child is in court ordered out-of-home care and the Secretary has either parental responsibility for, or care of the child as defined by the My Health Records Act 2012 (Cth) and the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (CYFA).

Policy

All children in court-ordered out-of-home care will have a My Health Record unless they were opted-out of the system or had their record cancelled by their parent prior to their entry to care.

If a child had been opted out of the system or had their record cancelled by a parent, and is later placed on a care by Secretary or long-term care order, Child Protection will opt the child back in to the system. Under these orders, the Secretary has exclusive parental responsibility for the child, and recognises the importance of a child having a My Health Record.

Children aged 14 and older

Under the My Health Records Act (Cth), a child aged 14 years or over is able to decide whether they will have a My Health Record. They have the authority to cancel their record without any permission from a parent, carer or child protection. A discussion should occur with the young person to inform and support their decision making and to seek their consent to have their allocated child protection practitioner as an authorised representative on their My Health Record, and their carer as a nominated representative (where appropriate). For further information on authorised and nominated representatives see My Health Record and child protection advice.

Carers and My Health Record

Child protection will only invite carers to become a nominated representative on a child’s My Health Record if:

  • the child is subject to a care by Secretary order, the permanency objective is permanent care and the carer to be nominated is the intended permanent carer; or
  • the child is subject to a long-term care order, and
  • the carer agrees, noting they will need to link themselves to the child’s My Health Record using their own Medicare number.

Staff and My Health Record

Community Service Organisations (CSOs), Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) and their employees cannot become authorised representatives for a child on the My Health Record, even for contracted cases, as they do not have the legal authority or delegation.

Staff in CSOs, ACCOs or the department will never become a nominated representative on a child’s My Health Record as this would involve using their private Medicare number, which would be inappropriate.

Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care

Children who are subject to s.18 authorisations under the CYFA, known as Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care (ACAC) program, will be the responsibility of the authorised ACCO. This means any action required on the child’s My Health Record is the responsibility of the authorised ACCO.

Children in Care Portal

Where legal authority exists, child protection practitioners will use the Children in Care Portal (the portal), owned by the Commonwealth Government, to access a child’s My Health Record and take any action required. When the authority does not exist, or the portal is unavailable for any reason, practitioners will be required to call the My Health Record helpline. For further information My Health Record procedure, How Child Protection interacts with My Health Record, My Health Record and child protection advice.

Related procedures

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