Information Sharing

Good information sharing is vital when professionals are worried about people and want to help them.  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.

Learning from Serious Case Reviews reinforces the fact that both children and adults can suffer significant harm or death when professionals fail to share information. Good communication and appropriate information sharing between professionals is therefore a critical element of effective safeguarding practice.

Whether you are sending an e-mail to another professional, making a phone call or participating in a meeting it is important that your focus is on the safety and welfare of children and young people and that you share information consistent with the law and statutory guidance.

However, we know that the legal narrative can often appear complex and confusing.  Because of this, the CHSCP has adopted a simple approach to compliance in this important area.

We positively encourage professionals to seek agreement to share information when it is right to do so and where doing so does not place a child or adult at risk.

Where there are good reasons to be worried about a child or adult’s safety or wellbeing the fact that there is no existing information sharing agreement between organisations or that the information is seen as “third- party”, should not be used as an excuse to fail to share.  Your concern is sufficient to have a conversation with or seek advice from fellow professionals.

If you are worried about someone, you are allowed to talk with other professionals without fearing you are doing something wrong. You aren’t. Talking to each other and sharing information when trying to protect people from actual or likely harm or to prevent a crime is lawful and in the substantial public interest.  Government guidance on information sharing is available here.  The London CP Procedures guidance is available here.

If you have safeguarding concerns and feel they are not being heard or that you are unreasonably being prevented from sharing what you know with an appropriate partner, please do not hesitate to escalate the matter by contacting a member of the CHSCP Board Team on: 0208 356 4183.

Centre of Excellence for Information Sharing