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Sharing information to protect vulnerable children Charles Mabbett
18 November 2014

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Sharing information about an individual is often essential to their health, safety and wellbeing. We all have a responsibility to make our communities safe and inclusive, especially for vulnerable people such as children. Part of that responsibility is to try and raise the alarm if we see signs of abuse or neglect.

It is an evident fact that New Zealand has had a poor record of protecting some children from harm. However, social service agencies and health professionals have to deal directly with the families within which violence or other abuse is happening.

For service agencies and others to do their jobs effectively, they often have to consult with each other to ensure that the right kind of intervention is made and at the right time. To do this, they need to share information while remaining on the right side of laws around personal, health and other information.

Responding to concerns about the lack of comprehensive guidance on how social workers, health professionals, teachers, Police and others can work together to share information, we decided to work with the Office of the Children’s Commissioner to build an information sharing resource.

That resource has now been completed and is available to be used to help people through some of the information sharing dilemmas they encounter when working with vulnerable children and their families.

The interactive Escalation Ladder guide and two accompanying PDF documents are available here. Feel free to leave a comment below and tell us what you think, especially if you work in this area. Will it make a difference to you? We hope it does.

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