In Every Child Matters (December 2004) the Government made a commitment to produce clear guidance for all children's services practitioners on information sharing. The first cross-government guidance was published in April 2006.
In October 2008 a new version of this guidance was published to reflect current policy, and was extended to cover practitioners working with adults and families as well as those working with children and young people.
The Department for Education (DfE) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) worked in partnership to update the guidance, in consultation with a wide range of practitioners, national organisations and representative bodies.
The guidance and associated materials (available below) aim to support good practice in information sharing by offering clarity on when and how information can be shared legally and professionally.
The guidance is for practitioners who have to make decisions about sharing personal information on a case-by-case basis, whether they are:
- Providing services to children, young people, adults and/or families
- Working in the public, private or voluntary sectors as an employee, a contractor or a volunteer
The guidance is also for managers and advisors who support these practitioners in their decision making. It does not deal in any detail with arrangements for preplanned or bulk sharing of personal information between IT systems or organisations.
The guidance has been formally endorsed by a wide variety of organisations from across all sectors.
The guidance and training materials can be accessed via the Information Sharing section on the Every Child Matters website.