Merton Safeguarding Children Board reconfirmed its
Information sharing agreement in February 2015.
The Government reissued its advice on
Information sharing guidance for safeguarding practitioners in March 2015.
To safeguard children and young people from harm it is important that we share information about them to make referrals, undertake assessments and provide multi-disciplinary services.
We must be careful to protect rights to privacy and only share information with consent or, if it is not possible or appropriate to get consent, to share without consent to protect someone.
The seven golden rules to sharing information
- Remember that the Data Protection Act 1998 and human rights law are not barriers to justified information sharing, but provide a framework to ensure that personal information about living individuals is shared appropriately.
- Be open and honest with the individual (and/or their family where appropriate) from the outset about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be shared, and seek their agreement, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so.
- Seek advice from other practitioners if you are in any doubt about sharing the information concerned, without disclosing the identity of the individual where possible.
- Share with informed consent where appropriate and, where possible, respect the wishes of those who do not consent to share confidential information. You may still share information without consent if, in your judgement, there is good reason to do so, such as where safety may be at risk. You will need to base your judgement on the facts of the case. When you are sharing or requesting personal information from someone, be certain of the basis upon which you are doing so. Where you have consent, be mindful that an individual might not expect information to be shared.
- Consider safety and well-being: Base your information sharing decisions on considerations of the safety and well-being of the individual and others who may be affected by their actions.
- Necessary, proportionate, relevant, adequate, accurate, timely and secure: Ensure that the information you share is necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, is shared only with those individuals who need to have it, is accurate and up-to-date, is shared in a timely fashion, and is shared securely (see principles).
- Keep a record of your decision and the reasons for it – whether it is to share information or not. If you decide to share, then record what you have shared, with whom and for what purpose.
Information sharing advice for safeguarding practitioners: DFE March 2015
Merton SCB Administrators
Children, Schools and Families Department
Tel: 020 8545 4866