Information exchange provisions under Chapter 16A of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 allows for the flow of information between government agencies and non-government organisations to facilitate collaboration in the provision of services to vulnerable children and their families.
Sometimes it only becomes clear that a child or young person has been harmed, or is at risk, when information from a number of sources is combined to create a complete picture about their circumstances. These new information exchange provisions will assist in identifying cumulative harm from a combination of factors and/or over time. Such information exchange can occur whether or not the child or young person is known to Community Services and whether or not the child or young person consents to the information exchange.
What information can I share?
The legislation allows you to share relevant information about a vulnerable child or young person in specific circumstances without needing to be concerned about legal or professional consequences, provided you do so in accordance with Chapter 16A and in good faith. However, it is important for you to know when and how you can share this information, and when you need consent of a child or young person or their parents.
The Child Wellbeing and Child Protection Policies and Procedures for NSW Health outlines the legislative requirements for NSW Health staff in relation to the exchange of information with other human services and justice agencies.