Why is this important
The Loddon Children and Youth Area Partnership members recognise that collaboration across sectors and organisations is essential in the provision of high quality, comprehensive support to children, young people and families experiencing vulnerability. Collaboration involves multiple aspects, including respectfully and legally sharing information.
This is particularly evident in the safeguarding of children at risk of abuse or neglect. The Commissioner for Children and Young People’s 2014–15 annual report found that of the 27 child death inquiry reports reviewed, 16 reports highlighted issues relating to service coordination, collaboration, communication, information sharing and lack of case conferencing between relevant services.1
There are barriers and complexities that can hinder practitioners working together ranging from legislation to organisational policy and culture, through to daily logistics of finding the time to collaborate with others or even knowing who to collaborate with and when.
Knowing what information to share and how is not straight forward and there is no one guideline or one standard training course that we can all commit to completing. The landscape is changing as a result of key policy reforms including the implementation of the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence and the continuous improvements being explored to prevent the abuse of children.
The learning that will occur across the Area Partnership as a consequence of the shared commitment to this competency will be a journey that involves senior leaders through to client-facing practitioners as we build our shared understanding and local agreements to ensure we are working in partnership in the best interests of children and young people.
1 DHHS, August 2017, Child Information Sharing Consultation Paper
Organisation and Staff self-assessment tools