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Support a child by sharing information

Information sharing is fundamental to ensuring a child is safe and their needs are met. Child Safety, prescribed entities and service providers may share information with each other to identify, assess and respond to child protection wellbeing concerns.

Child Safety and an independent person for the child may also share information with each other to facilitate the participation of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child or their family in decision making. 

In all cases, prescribed entities must reasonably believe the information will help with the particular purpose for which they are sharing it. Decisions about information sharing need to be made in the context of the individual circumstances of the child and family.

Attention

A family’s consent to share information should be obtained where possible, safe and practical. However, the Child Protection Act 1999, Chapter 5A, Part 4 allows information to be shared without consent between particular entities. These sections enable broad information sharing about children and also about unborn children when they may be at risk after they are born.

Assess care needs and planning services

Under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 159MC prescribed entities and service providers may give information to Child Safety, or Child Safety and prescribed entities may give information to other prescribed entities to help Child Safety:

  • with the development or assessment of a child’s case plan
  • to assess or respond to a child or the child’s family
  • to make plans or decisions or provide services to a child or the child’s family
  • to offer help and support to a pregnant woman.

A service provider may give information to a prescribed entity to help them participate in, assess or respond to, and plan services.

Decrease the likelihood of a child becoming a child in need of protection

Under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 159MD Child Safety and prescribed entities may give service providers and other prescribed entities information to:

  • help assess or respond to a child’s needs, to decrease the likelihood of them becoming a child in need of protection
  • plan or provide services to a child or the child’s family to decrease the likelihood of a child becoming in need of protection.

A service provider may give information to a prescribed entity to help decrease the likelihood of the child becoming a child in need of protection.

Facilitate the participation of a child or a child’s family

Under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 159ME Child Safety and an independent person for a child may share information with each other to help the independent person facilitate the participation of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child or the child’s family in:

  • decision making
  • planning
  • providing services to the child or child’s family.

An independent person may give Child Safety information to help Child Safety provide or offer to provide services to the child or child’s family.

Note

An entity may only share information it reasonably believes:

  • may help the recipient support a child or unborn child who may become in need of protection if support is not provided to the child or the child’s family
    or
  • will help a child who is need of protection.

Information may include facts or opinion, for example, a professional opinion. It may be shared in writing or verbally.

Document information sharing

When receiving or providing information:

  • Label and save the information-sharing request and response in the relevant event in ICMS.
  • Record what information was shared, with whom it was shared and the reason it was shared.
  • Record information from the QPS in an Info received from QPS case note in ICMS.
  • Record whether consent:
    • was obtained
      or
    • was not sought or obtained, including information as why it was unsafe, impossible or impractical to seek or obtain consent.

Further reading

For further information on information sharing, refer to Procedure 5 Information sharing and Information sharing guidelines.

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