Information Sharing

Information Sharing In April 2006, the government issued non-statutory guidance Information Sharing for practitioners.

An information sub-group discussed the government guidance and recommended that the guidance should be adopted as the basis for information sharing for practitioners working with children and young people across the Enfield area. A paper was taken to the Children's Trust Executive Board on January 11th 2007 and the Children's Trust Board on January 25th 2007 and it was accepted that the HM Government document: Information Sharing: Practitioners Guide, and associated guidance, be adopted as the basis for information sharing across the Enfield area.

Enfield has agreed the six key points on information sharing from the Information Sharing: Practitioners Guide

You should explain to children, young people and families at the outset, openly and honestly, what and how information will, or could be shared and why, and seek their agreement. The exception to this is where to do so would put that child, young person or others at increased risk of significant harm or an adult at risk of serious harm, or if it would undermine the prevention, detection or prosecution of a serious crime including where seeking consent might lead to interference with any potential investigation.

You must always consider the safety and welfare of a child or young person when making decisions on whether to share information about them. Where there is concern that the child may be suffering or is at risk of suffering significant harm, the child's safety and welfare must be the overriding consideration.

You should, where possible, respect the wishes of children, young people or families who do not consent to share confidential information.

You may still share information, if in your judgement on the facts of the case, there is sufficient need to override that lack of consent.

You should seek advice where you are in doubt, especially where your doubt relates to a concern about possible significant harm to a child or serious harm to others.

You should ensure that the information you share is accurate and up-to-date, necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, shared only with those people who need to see it, and shared securely.

You should always record the reasons for your decision - whether it is to share information or not.

8 key questions underlying information sharing

  • Is there a legitimate purpose for you or your agency to share the information?
  • Does the information enable a person to be identified?
  • Is the information confidential?
  • If the information is confidential, do you have consent to share?
  • Is there a statutory duty or court order to share the information?
  • If consent is refused, or there are good reasons not to seek consent to share confidential information, is there a sufficient public interest to share information?
  • If the decision is to share, are you sharing the right information in the right way? Have you properly recorded your decision?

Information Sharing Training

Information sharing training has been provided for practitioners as part of their training for the Common Assessment Framework. Information Sharing will be part of the induction process for all practitioners working with children and young people and will be an integral part of the Children's Workforce strategy.

Information sharing processes

Approaches to information sharing will be agreed by agencies to ensure that all information will be securely communicated and stored.

There is a three level approach to information sharing

  • Level 1 - Agreed at the highest level between agencies and agreed by the senior management within an agency
  • Level 2 - The cross government information sharing Guidance
  • Level 3 - Formal agreements and mechanisms for information sharing between individual agencies

Information on Information Sharing