3.2 Sharing Relevant Information to Safeguard Children
This policy is designed as guidance and to set principles of sharing information at multi-agency meetings and discussion for the purpose of protecting children from harm.
This is not designed to negate professional and clinical judgements moreover aid all to ensure this the right amount of quality information is shared to help make safe decisions for children.
Each professional should follow organisation procedures or consult with their manager if in doubt.
Ensure Information is:
Necessary and proportionate
- When taking decisions about what information to share, you should consider how much
information you need to release.
- Ensure the information is relevant to the concerns being currently raised, the information may be historic but still relevant if it relates to current concerns. But may be less relevant if it does not relate to the current situation for the children or families.
- Be specific and clear and have the most up-to-date information to hand.
- Gather your thoughts’ so you can highlight your concern with a clear focus on the impact on the child.
- Do parents work well with you what is your evidence this improves things for the child/ren.
- Information should be adequate for its purpose. Information should be of the right quality to ensure that it can be understood and relied upon.
- Ensure the information is succinct and shared in an understandable manner, not too much detail that salient points are lost but ensure key highlights are shared and explain how they are relevant to the current time.
- How have parents worked with you to improve outcomes for children – have you any evidence parents haven’t worked well – what have been the barriers?
- Are there any ongoing other investigations that you are aware of?
- Information should be accurate and up to date and should clearly distinguish between fact and opinion.
- If the information is historical then this should be explained as such and explained how that related to the current time.
- Ensure you have had a look through all the records you have so you can give relevant information on key concerns.
- Gather accompanying evidence in support of that concern and be specific; have dates and times to hand of when things happened.
- Information should be shared in a timely fashion to reduce the risk of missed opportunities to offer support and protection to a child.
- Wherever possible, information should be shared in an appropriate, secure way.
- Practitioners must always follow their organisation’s policy on security for handling
- personal information.
- In addition, consider your working relationship with the parents and other family members, if appropriate describe whether parents have worked with you with tangible benefits for the children or children be able to say when its worked, but what might have been barriers.
Ensure where you have evidence of the child’s views that this is shared
- What are the child’s wishes and feelings in relation to this concern?
- What have they said (specifically)?
- What were the circumstances?
- How were wishes and feelings disclosed?