Obtaining informed consent means to explain openly and honestly at the outset what information will or could be shared, and why, and seeking agreement.
Obtaining explicit consent is good practice and written consent is preferable since that reduces the scope for subsequent dispute. For example, confidential information should only be recorded on the Early Help Assessment form if the child, young person and/or parent explicitly agree to this. If there is particular information that they do not want recorded on the form or shared with others, it should be recorded only in confidential case records.
Respect the wishes of children, young people and families who do not consent to share confidential information - unless in your judgement there is sufficient need to override that lack of consent. The child or young person’s safety and welfare must be the overriding consideration when making decisions on whether to share information about them.
There will be some circumstances where you should not seek consent from the individual or their family, or inform them that the information will be shared. For example, if doing so would:
- place a person (the individual, family member, yourself or a third party) at increased risk of significant harm if a child, or serious harm if an adult; or
- prejudice the prevention, detection or prosecution of a serious crime; or
- lead to an unjustified delay in making enquiries about allegations of significant harm to a child, or serious harm to an adult.
LRSCP Overarching Safeguarding Information Sharing Agreement (ISA)