10.3 Information sharing for service delivery coordination

Purpose

Sharing information supports collaborative working arrangements to achieve the best outcomes for children and their families.

The Child Protection Act 1999, chapter 5A, enables broad information sharing between entities involved in the family support and child protection system and provides important safeguards to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of personal information. The purpose of the information sharing provisions of the Child Protection Act 1999 is to ensure information is shared to:

  • promote a child's wellbeing
  • effectively meet a child's protection and care needs
  • facilitate the coordination of services to relevant children and families.

Key steps

  1. Key principles for sharing information
  2. Decide when information may be shared
  3. Decide if stated information is needed

What ifs - responding to specific information sharing matters

Standards

  1. Effective engagement through information sharing and service delivery responds to any cultural, historical barriers related to the participation and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in decision-making and providing consent to the sharing of personal information.
  2. Information is shared in a timely way to facilitate service delivery coordination and promote a child’s safety or wellbeing.
  3. Whenever safe, possible and practical, consent is obtained to share a person’s information before providing, or planning to provide, a service, help or support to a child or a child’s family or disclosing personal information about the person to someone else.
  4. A child’s safety, wellbeing and best interests are paramount and the child’s need for safety, belonging and wellbeing and any other person’s safety takes precedence over the protection of an individual’s privacy regarding their personal information.
  5. Personal information should be managed with sensitivity and discretion, recognising the wellbeing of children includes respect for their family’s information. 
  6. Information sharing must comply with the Privacy Principles outlined in the Information Privacy Act 2009.

Practice skills (key areas for reflection)

  1. Have I sought the family’s consent to share their information whenever safe, possible and practical?
  2. Have I considered and addressed any barriers to informed consent, such as cultural, language or disability barriers?
  3. Have I engaged with the child and family in a way that maximises their meaningful participation in the process and decision-making about sharing their information?
  4. Am I clear how the sharing of information is necessary to ensure a child’s safety or to support their care needs and promote their wellbeing?
  5. What function or purpose am I requesting information for?
  6. Have I recorded the information sharing request?
  7. Have I complied with the privacy principles?
  8. Have I considered confidentiality requirements and obligations?

 Authority