Sharing information about children
Some people and organisations can share information about a child or family if it relates to the child's safety and wellbeing.
You must be an 'authorised information sharer' (AIS), acting as an individual or organisation.
An AIS can share certain details under part 5.1A of the Care and Protection of Children Act 2007.
This applies even if other Northern Territory (NT) laws prohibit or restrict disclosure.
For more information, read below.
An AIS can share information with another AIS.
- registered foster carers
- public sector staff including CEOs or contractors engaged by a government agency who:
- are acting under an NT law in relation to a child and
- provide a service for or in connection with children
- police officers
- school principals
- registered or authorised teachers
- staff of non-government organisations (NGOs) who:
- receive Australian or NT Government funding to provide a service for children
- provide drug or alcohol treatment
- doctors, nurses, psychologists and other health professionals registered and practicing under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (other than students)
- individuals or organisations who provide services to people with disabilities.
You can only share information if it relates to the child's safety and wellbeing.
This can include details of the child’s:
- current care arrangements
- relationships or issues with family members and anyone posing a risk to them
- health and treatment needs such as allergies and dietary requirements
- psychological, behavioural, emotional, or physical difficulties and disabilities
- educational, developmental, religious or cultural needs
- parents mental health, substance misuse, disability or history of domestic violence.
You should not share information if you believe it could:
- negatively impact:
- a coronial inquest or inquiry
- an investigation into an offence committed in the NT
- go against the privacy rules that exist between lawyers and their clients
- confirm the existence or identity of a confidential source of information in relation to law enforcement
- put a person's life in danger or put their physical safety at risk.
These guidelines outline the information sharing framework in relation to child safety and wellbeing in the NT.
They can help and guide an AIS:
- to understand their obligations
- to establish efficient and collaborative information sharing relationships with one another.
- with factors that should be considered as a ‘reasonable belief’ for the purposes of information sharing
- when they should get consent from a child, young person or family member before sharing information.
Read the information sharing guidelines .
If you're an AIS, you can use and adapt these letter templates when requesting information or responding to information requests:
Territory Families, Housing and Communities can help you with training and requests about information sharing.
For more information, call the information sharing hotline on 1800 565 935.
Last updated: 19 November 2020
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