Guidance backs information sharing

Practitioners in England should be sharing information about
children at risk, despite concerns about breaking the law,
according to new government guidance.

In an introduction to the guidance on implementing
identification, referral and tracking, children’s minister
Margaret Hodge says the government is considering how to resolve
the confusion about what can and cannot legally be shared.

The guidance says: “It is vital that practitioners use existing
statutory and common-law powers to share information. Concern about
breaking the law often leads to information being withheld from
other professionals, even when it would be in the best interest of
the child to pass it on.”

The guidance adds that information must be shared in compliance
with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Human Rights Acts 1998, which
involves protocols and standardised procedures for recording

– Identification, Referral and Tracking: Information Sharing to
Improve Services for Children at

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