Sharing information about children, young people and their families is essential to enable early intervention and support for people who need help, but it is important that information is shared in a way which respects individual's rights.
Information Sharing Code of Practice
The Lancashire Children and Young People's Trust uses the North West Public Authorities and Partners Information Sharing Code of Practice and framework. The structure is designed to provide a framework for the secure and confidential sharing of information between the partner organisations that contribute to the wellbeing of residents and ensuring disclosure is in line with statutory requirements. There are three main tiers to the structure.-
Tier Zero - This is a simple two page document signed by a Chief Executive of an organisation / SIRO (Senior Risk Information Owner) agreeing in principle to share information responsibly.
Tier One - This is an overarching standard outlining the agreed procedures for sharing information. It is this document which sets the standards for obtaining, recording, holding, using and sharing of information. It outlines the supporting legislation, guidelines and documents which govern information sharing between partner organisations.
Tier Two - This gives guidance to operational practitioners on the production of a protocol for the safe sharing of information. These protocols should show what information should be shared and how, under what circumstances and by whom, and should be tailored to individual partnerships. This document will require authorisation of the participating partnership organisations. The Tier Two guidance and template agreement can be used by any organisations that need to formally record how they plan to share information safely.
If you are unsure whether your individual organisation has signed up to the Code of Practice please contact your organisation's Information Governance Team.
More detailed Operational Agreements may be put in place to give specific guidance to practitioners which set out what information should be shared and how, under what circumstances and by whom. These agreements are tailored to specific areas of work, such as Working Together with Families. For information on the Working Together with Families Tier Two Agreement, please click here Working Together With Families.
Importantly, the absence of an information sharing agreement is not in itself a barrier to sharing information. If no agreement exists each case must be judged on its merits using the general Guidance for Practitioners and Managers.