Information sharing

Safe and appropriate information sharing will ensure everyone working with tamariki can collaborate in the best interests of the child. 

New provisions – child at the centre

Changes to section 66 of the Oranga Tamariki 1989 Act include new provisions. These came into effect from July 1, 2019 and give child welfare and protection agencies the ability to request, collect, use, and share personal information for purposes related to the wellbeing and safety of tamariki. 

The new provisions are designed to put the child at the centre, and enable the right support and services to be provided to them and their whānau.

Watch the video below and the tamariki will tell you why information sharing is important.

Transcript

Information sharing - video transcript

Boy 1:

This is an official government video.

(music starts and plays softly in the background)

Girl 1:

The government has made changes to the rules about how information about children and young people is shared.

Boy 2:

It's important that information can be shared if there are concerns about someone's safety or wellbeing.

Boy 3:

So children and young people can get the right help and support they need.

Boy 2:

This might be social workers, teachers and police.

Boy 1:

Or, counsellors, doctors and nurses. And they'll only share information if they have a good reason to.

Girl 2:

Professionals who work with children and young people will always try to talk to them first.

Girl 1:

They can also tell the professionals who are working with them what they think about their information being shared.

They'll think about this carefully before they share anything.

Girl 2:

And they'll only share information if they have a good reason to.

Boy 2:

So that kids and young people can be safe.

Boy 3:

So kids and young people can be safe.

Girl 2:

Nailed it!

(Oranga Tamariki logo comes on screen)

(Music fades out)

End of transcript.

How to apply the new provisions

Guidance on how to apply the new provisions has been developed with input from a wide range of agencies and frontline staff from across the social services sector. It outlines how you should consult with tamariki about sharing their information if appropriate. The guidance is available to download in English and Te Reo Māori.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has released a guidance document about information sharing for health professionals and the Ministry of Education (MOE) has a series of decision making tools to help you on its website.

Guidance for Health Professionals - Ministry of Health website

Info sharing guidance - Ministry of Education website

Forms to request information

An information request form template has been developed. This is a guide for developing your agency’s own form to request information from the child welfare and protection sector.

Download the 'Form to request information from Oranga Tamariki' if you need information from us about a child or young person.

Supporting documents

  • Read the fact sheet for an overview of the changes to the legislation.
  • Download the flowchart for steps to follow when thinking about sharing information under section 66C of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989.
  • Download the information request template – this is a guide for developing your agency's form to request information from the child welfare and protection sector.
  • Read how the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 and Family Violence Act 2018 guidance documents work together.

Presentation to support using the information sharing provisions

A slide presentation resource has been developed to support those in the child welfare and protection sector to use the information sharing provisions.

Approved Information Sharing Agreement (AISA)

Read the Information Sharing Agreement for Improving Public Service for Vulnerable Children to understand what information can be legally shared with the Hub.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has more information about the purpose and use of AISAs.

If you have any questions about the guidance or how it relates to your practice, you can contact our Helpline:

The Information Sharing Helpline provides general support and guidance about the operation of the information sharing laws in the Oranga Tamariki Act and the Family Violence Act.

The Helpline will aim to respond to your query within one working day but some queries may take longer to resolve.

Users should not disclose confidential or personal information about any individual or about the scenario that your question relates to.

Published: June 7, 2019 · Updated: July 15, 2020