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.

Relevant Factors:

  • 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?