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2.1 Introduction

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SCOPE OF THIS SECTION

This section takes account of Information Sharing: Guidance for practitioners and managers published in October 2008. There are other guidance documents, including a pocket guide, case examples and training materials which can also be accessed from this page of the Department for Education website

2.1.1

Sharing information is vital for early intervention to ensure that children with additional needs receive the services they require. It is also essential to protect children from suffering Significant Harm.

2.1.2

There is a positive duty under the Human Rights Act 1998 to protect life (Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights) and to protect others from inhuman and degrading treatment (Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights). All public authorities must ensure that everything they do promotes these rights and, in circumstances where a child has suffered or is likely to suffer Significant Harm, this includes the sharing of information with others so that the child's human rights can be protected.

2.1.3

Practitioners are sometimes uncertain about when they can share information lawfully. It is important therefore that they:

  • Understand and apply good practice in sharing information at an early stage as part of preventative work;
  • Understand what information is and is not confidential, and the need in some circumstances to make a judgement about whether confidential information can be shared, in the public interest, without consent;
  • Understand what to do when they have reasonable cause to believe that a child may be suffering, or may be at risk of suffering, Significant Harm and are clear of the circumstances when information can be shared where they judge that a child is at risk of Significant Harm;
  • Understand what to do when they have reasonable cause to believe that an adult may be suffering, or may be at risk of suffering, serious harm and are clear of the circumstances when information can be shared where they judge that an adult is at risk of serious harm;
  • Are supported by their employer in working through these issues.
2.1.4

Staff in adults' services are aware that problems faced by those with responsibilities as parents are often likely to affect children and other family members. However this information is not always shared and opportunities to put preventative support in place for the children and the family are missed. Where an adult receiving services is a parent or carer, sharing information with colleagues in children's services could ensure that any additional support required for their children can be provided early.

2.1.5

Where a practitioner has concerns that a child may be at risk of Significant Harm, it may be possible to justify sharing information without consent; the circumstances in which this can happen are set out in the following sections of this chapter.


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This page is correct as printed on Friday 18th of August 2017 01:18:53 AM please refer back to this website (https://sussexchildprotection.procedures.org.uk) for updates.
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