Submission on the Child Information Sharing Scheme

Submission on the Child Information Sharing Scheme

Friday, 6 July 2018

Image of a child holding an adult's hand

We recently provided a submission to the government on the draft Ministerial Guidelines for the Child Information Sharing (CIS) Scheme.

Djirra, Domestic Violence Victoria, No to Violence, Women’s Legal Service Victoria and the Federation of Community Legal Centres contributed to the submission to ensure that the new scheme is implemented appropriately and still encourages people to seek help from services when they need it.

The scheme will start on 3 September 2018 for a first phase of organisations. It is aimed at promoting children’s wellbeing and safety by enabling authorised and trained professionals to share information. It will apply to all Victorian children and young people under 18 years of age.

The guidelines will play an important role in supporting the application and implementation of the scheme.

About our submission

Based on our experience and on the experience of the organisations we worked with, our submission sets out what we see as important to ensure that the new scheme:

  • encourages people to seek help from services when they need it
  • empowers individuals and communities to make decisions that keep children safe.

For the scheme to be applied effectively, the guidelines must also enable cultural and behavioural change.

With this in mind, we suggest ways of providing greater instruction to organisations and practitioners about how to share information appropriately. We know that professionals are more likely to do this when they understand their professional responsibilities and are informed about the risks of sharing information.

Our key suggestions include:

  • using flowcharts, case studies and decision-making checklists to provide clear guidance to practitioners and encourage confident practices
  • providing clearer articulation of key terms and the linkages between the CIS Scheme and the Family Violence Information Sharing (FVIS) Scheme, relevant intersecting legislation, Child Safe Standards and Reportable Conduct Scheme
  • delivering training and capacity-building initiatives to support consistent, safe and appropriate practices of information sharing across the prescribed organisations. This includes the best interests of the child and child development frameworks, as well as content regarding cultural awareness
  • including more detailed guidance about maintaining engagement with, and seeking the views of, the child or family to assist practitioners to share information respectfully and appropriately, including further requirements for record keeping
  • applying key learnings from the implementation of the FVIS Scheme to the CIS Scheme rollout.

Read our submission

You can read this submission, along with others we have made about child information sharing, on the Appropriate interventions for children and young people page.

Was this helpful?