The legislation defines specific purposes for sharing information. The approved purposes for sharing information under the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS) and the Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS) are different.
Before sharing information, you must consider whether you are sharing for an approved purpose. This will define which information sharing scheme you may use. The information being shared should also be relevant to that purpose.
Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme
Under the FVISS, you may share information for the following two purposes:
- For a family violence assessment purpose
RAEs have the power to request, collect and use information to establish and assess the risk of family violence occurring.This means that information may be shared for the purpose of:
- establishing whether there is a risk of family violence taking place
- to correctly identify those involved as perpetrators and/or victim survivors
- to measure the level of risk that is posed by the alleged perpetrator towards the victim survivor/s.An AOD service which is a prescribed ISE, must respond to a request for share information and may voluntarily share information with an RAE if you reasonably believe the information is relevant and will help them complete a family violence risk assessment. Reasonable belief requires something more than suspicion. In order to form a reasonable belief, you must be aware of facts which would cause a reasonable person to form the same belief.
- For a family violence protection purpose
ISEs can request, collect and use and disclose information to manage the risk of family violence occurring. Managing risk involves removing, reducing or preventing risk from escalating. Because the risk of family violence can change quickly, this includes requesting, collecting, sharing and using information for ongoing risk assessment. For example, a service provider may share or request information to update a risk assessment, which will also help update risk management and safety plans for the victim survivor.You may share information with another ISE if you reasonably believe the information is relevant and will support family violence protection. An ISE is permitted to share perpetrator information with an adult victim survivor to assist them to manage their safety or that of their children. Risk relevant information about the perpetrator can contribute to the management of family violence risk and increase their safety. There have been scenarios where the victim survivor was miss-identified and in reality was the person who used the violence. Sharing information with the wrong person carries high risk for the victim survivor. It is important that the victim survivor and perpetrator are correctly identified! Consider speaking to your supervisor and/or request a secondary consultation with relevant agencies, before you share this information with your client.
Child Information Sharing Scheme
Information may be shared under the CISS for the purpose of promoting the wellbeing of a child or children.
You may only share information if the information will be used to:
- make a decision, assessment or plan relating to a child or children
- initiate or carry out an investigation related to a child or children
- provide a service related to a child or children
- manage a risk to a child or children.