Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) Practice Guidance 4 - Information sharing

This guidance aims to clarify the circumstances in which information can be shared with another agency, the considerations that need to be taken into account to ensure sharing information with another agency is appropriate, and the importance of involving children, young people and families.

13. Information sharing for Child Protection

National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland states:

Where there is a child protection concern, relevant information should be shared with police or social work without delay, provided it is necessary, proportionate and lawful to do so.

If there is a child protection concern, consent is not required. The relevant section of the National Guidance for Child Protection guidance is “Information Sharing: Inter-Agency Principles” 1.128 to 1.147.

In an emergency situation (e.g. safeguarding children or young people) you should go ahead and immediately (and without consent) share information as is necessary and proportionate. You should record the reasons why you have done as soon as possible afterwards. As far as possible, where practitioners may be required to make decisions of this nature, organisations should plan for and train their staff for data sharing in emergency situations, and should carry out Data Protection Impact Assessments to cover the type of emergency situation that might occur, and have protocols in place to support necessary, proportionate and safe data sharing in these circumstances. The ICO provide guidance at Data sharing in an urgent situation or in an emergency.



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