Effective sharing of information between professionals and local agencies is essential for effective identification, assessment and service provision.
Early sharing of information is the key to providing effective early help where there are emerging problems. At the other end of the continuum, sharing information can be essential to put in place effective child protection services. Serious Case Reviews (SCRs) have shown how poor information sharing has contributed to the deaths or serious injuries of children.
Fears about sharing information cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare and protect the safety of children. To ensure effective safeguarding arrangements:
- all organisations should have arrangements in place which set out clearly the processes and the principles for sharing information between each other, with other professionals and with the Children’s Partnership; and
- no professional should assume that someone else will pass on information which they think may be critical to keeping a child safe. If a professional has concerns about a child’s welfare and believes they are suffering or likely to suffer harm, then they should share the information with local authority children’s social care.
This guidance supports frontline practitioners, working in child or adult services, who have to make decisions about sharing personal information on a case by case basis. The advice includes the seven golden rules for sharing information effectively and can be used to supplement local guidance and encourage good practice in information sharing.