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Information Sharing

All agencies should share information on children and young people they know to be vulnerable via the MASH Early Help Coordinators (551900 option 2 or with consent.

Effective information sharing allows agencies to fulfil their duty under section 10 of the Children Act 2004 to co-operate in improving the wellbeing of children in the area.

Information sharing is not about controlling the lives of children and young people, but maximising their life chances. Decisions about service provision can be made with a more informed picture of the contributions of those involved. By piecing together sometimes disparate bits of information, a much better view can be gained of the needs of a child or young person. We can then ensure that the right services can be delivered at the right time.

Why should we share information?

Sharing information is vital for early intervention to ensure that children and young people get the services they require at the time they need it. Information sharing is also essential to protect children and young people from suffering harm from abuse or neglect, and to prevent them from offending.

Seven golden rules for information sharing

  1. Remember that Data Protection Act is not a barrier to sharing information
  2. Be open and honest
  3. Seek advice from your manager and/or the Local Area Team
  4. Share with consent where appropriate
  5. Consider safety and well being
  6. Necessary, proportionate, relevant, accurate, timely and secure
  7. Keep a record

What to share and how to share it

  • Share the information which is necessary for the purpose for which it is being shared.
  • Gain consent from the child/young person (according to age and understanding) or parents/carers.
  • Contact the MASH Early Help Coordinators on 01904 551900 opt2 or The Local Area Team can tell you who else is already working with a child or family, and give advice about other options.
  • In circumstances where you are concerned that a child or young people may be at risk of harm, it may not be possible to gain consent from the young person or parents before sharing information. You should not let anything delay you in getting advice from a social worker if you are concerned a child may be at risk of harm. You can contact Children’s Social Care within the MASH on 01904 551900 option 3 or

The North Yorkshire and City of York Partnership Information Sharing Form can be used if you think you have information to share with the police about situations in which children, young people or adults may be vulnerable to exploitation. If someone is at risk of immediate harm you need to call 999.

Further guidance is available on the Government's Information Sharing Guidance 2018 (open in pdf).