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.

3. Key changes

The approach to information sharing for organisations has developed significantly since GIRFEC was initially introduced. Key changes highlighted in this document include:

  • Parts 4 (named person) and 5 (child’s plan) of the Children and Young People Act (Scotland) 2014 have not come into force and the intention of the Scottish Government is to repeal them. The role of named person (see glossary) does not create any additional authority to obtain information. However, some practitioners who fulfil the role of named person may have an existing role in relation to a child or young person (e.g. health visitor or head teacher) and in that capacity may have a lawful basis to process information. If a practitioner has significant concerns about a child or young person, they may share necessary information with the appropriate agencies and/or practitioners in response to their concerns, in compliance with data protection legislation. In some circumstances, it will be appropriate for information to be shared with the named person. No more information than necessary should be shared;
  • An emphasis on building trusting relationships and being transparent with children, young people and families; and
  • This guidance provides more clarity on information sharing for third sector organisations, and takes into account smaller, voluntary and community organisations that play a valuable role in sharing information to support a child or young person’s wellbeing.



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