Working with children & families will bring us into contact with confidential information. To ensure that Staff and Parents respect confidentiality we will use the following practices and guidance “ Information Sharing: Practitioners Guide” HM Government 2006.
- We expect all employees to observe the Data Protection Act 1998 when collecting, processing and sorting all personal information.
- We have record keeping systems in place that meet the legal requirements for storing and sharing information.
- We check if the information parents share with us is regarded as confidential or not.
- We will inform parents when we need to record confidential information beyond the general personal information we keep – for example with regard to any injuries, concerns or changes in relation to the child or the family, any discussions with parents on sensitive matters, any records we are obliged to keep regarding child protection and any contact and correspondence with external agencies in relation to their child.
We recognise that parents have the right to know that information they share will be regarded as confidential and will be informed of the reasons and circumstances when we are obliged to share information. We are obliged to share this information without authorisation if it is in the public interest. That is when:
- There is a concern that a child may be suffering from or at risk of suffering from significant harm.
- It is to prevent a crime from being committed or intervene where one may have been, or to prevent harm to a child or adult.
- Not sharing it could be worse than the outcome of having shared it.
We consider the following questions when we need to share:
- Is there a legitimate purpose to sharing the information
- Does the information enable the person to be identified
- If the information is confidential, do we have consent to share
- Is there a statutory duty or court order to share
Parents receive written details in their prospectus booklet regarding our Information Sharing and Confidentiality policy. When starting at St.Francis they are asked to sign their child’s registration / contract forms to say they understand circumstances when this information may be shared without their consent.
We work in accordance with guidelines laid down by the registering authority and in line with the London Child Protection Procedures “Working together to safeguard children” (2010) and “ Information Sharing: Practitioners Guide” HM Government 2006, when recording child protection information on children. These files are confidential and securely kept. When appropriate they are shared/transferred to relevant agencies and or professionals, for example if the child moves to a new provision.
All the practices listed above are subject to the paramount commitment of the group, which is to the safety and well being of the child.
Any concerns regarding this policy & practice refer to our data protection Officer.