Sharing information is a critical part of a collaborative response to suspected child abuse and neglect.
As a service provider working with children and families, you receive information in confidence, but children’s health and safety must be paramount.
Your duty to report suspected child abuse or neglect overrides your duty to protect the privacy of clients, patients, students, staff or colleagues.
If you have reason to believe a child may be at risk – and the child’s parent is unwilling or unable to protect the child – you have a legal duty to report that information to a child welfare worker.
Child welfare workers are legally entitled to access any information held by a public body, where that information, in the opinion of the child welfare workers, is needed to carry out their duties.
You may also need to share information with other professionals, family members or a child’s Aboriginal community as part of a collaborative response to child abuse or neglect.