Information-sharing (Disclosure) and Confidentiality
The key factor in deciding whether or not to share confidential information about a safeguarding matter, outside the confidential circle of referrals to safeguarding agencies is proportionality.
The important question to ask is this: Is the proposed disclosure a proportionate response to the need to protect a vulnerable person who is unable to protect him/herself in this particular situation? The amount of confidential information disclosed, and the number of people with whom it is shared, should be no more than is strictly necessary.
- What is the purpose of sharing the information? What will it achieve for the person who is at risk?
- What is the nature and the extent of the information to be disclosed?
- To whom is the disclosure to be made (and do they have a duty to treat the material as confidential)?
- Is sharing the information a proportionate response to the need to protect the person who may be at risk? Will sharing this information be necessary to prevent significant harm or exploitation?