Do I need consent to share information?
Consent is not required to share information about a child.
Under the Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS), consent is not required from any person to share information to promote a child’s wellbeing or safety.
Under the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS), consent is not required from any person to share information:
- that is relevant to assessing or managing family violence risk to a child;
- if there is a serious risk to any person; or
- if sharing is permitted by another law.
If none of the above apply, consent is required to share the information of an adult victim survivor over 18 years of age.
Consent is never required to share information about a perpetrator, alleged perpetrator or adolescent using, or at risk of using, family violence.
Even if consent is not required, you should always seek and consider the views and wishes of a child and/or their family members (who are not using violence) before sharing their information, if it is safe, reasonable and appropriate to do so. For example:
- it may not be safe to share information if it will put a child or other person at risk of harm
- it may be unreasonable if you are unable to contact a family member or if they don’t have a current service relationship.
Seeking and considering the views of families is best practice and will help you to:
- develop and maintain trusting and positive relationships with families
- improve and maintain engagement with families, including those at risk of disengaging
- empower children and their families and support them in understanding their unique insights
- increase or protect the safety of children and their families.
You should consider the age and stage of a child if you are thinking about seeking their views directly. You can ask yourself the following questions:
- Can the child understand the facts and choices involved?
- Can the child understand the consequences of their choices and how it will affect them?
- Can the child communicate their views?
You can help children share their views by tailoring communication to their age and stage of development, such as using pictures or simple language. You should also consider the needs of children who are non-verbal, need additional support, do not speak English as a first language, or have a disability.
Practice tip: Before you seek anyone’s views and wishes, ask yourself if it is safe, reasonable and appropriate to do so. This includes considering the age and stage of a child if you are thinking about seeking their views directly.