Vic services reminded to prepare for Information Sharing and Family Violence reform
From the commencement of Term Two, in approximately one month’s time, authorised Victorian early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals will be able to share information about children’s wellbeing and safety with other authorised professionals who work with children and families.
As such, ECEC services are being reminded of both their obligations under the changes, and the range of support resources available to underpin the changes.
The changes to information sharing build on and complement existing child and family wellbeing and safety responsibilities and practices, and seek to cover all aspects of service delivery from early identification, screening, risk assessment, and management, to safety planning, collaborative practice, stabilisation, and recovery.
An initial change will be the updated privacy and confidentiality template, which is due to be published in early April.
The information below has been shared with the sector by the Early Learning Association Australia (ELAA) as a summary information provided by the Victorian Department of Education and Training regarding authorised persons, information sharing resources and information sessions.
Supporting child wellbeing and safety through the Information Sharing and Family Violence Reforms
From 19 April 2021, staff in education and care settings will be able to share information with other professionals who work with children and families.
Workshops and resources to prepare are available. The authorised professionals prescribed in Phase 2 from education and care workforces include staff from:
- long day care centres
- out of hours school care services
- education-based health wellbeing and inclusion professionals.
Under Phase two of the reforms, Victorian education and care professionals will be prescribed to use:
- the Child Information Sharing Scheme
- the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme
- the Family violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework.
Authorised professionals will be able to access a complete view of the children they work with, making it easier for them to identify wellbeing or safety needs earlier, and to act on them sooner.
Schools and education and care settings can prepare their organisation for the start of Phase 2 of the Information Sharing and Family Violence reforms on 19 April with a range of resources from the Victorian Department of Education and Training that provide guidance on confidently, safely and appropriately sharing information to meet their new legal obligations and support children’s wellbeing and safety.
Resources to help share information
Education and Care services can use the following resources from the Department’s PROTECT web page to prepare for the commencement of phase two of the reforms, and learn how to share information appropriately:
- Information Sharing and Family Violence Reforms Contextualised Guidance
- Information Sharing and Family Violence Reforms Toolkit.
Briefings and workshops
These resources complement the delivery of briefings and online modules for education and care workforces. Education and Care services should adapt and use these resources in line with existing service requirements and procedures in alignment with the National Quality Framework.
The Department is offering free briefings and workshops throughout via Webex. Weekly sessions are currently being held, with session times throughout the day. To register, refer to the following EventBrite pages:
- Interactive Leaders Briefing (for staff implementing the reforms)
- Practical Workshop for Professionals (for staff who will be sharing information)
The Department will provide additional resources, including targeted workshops and eLearning modules, to services throughout the year.
For more information, refer to the Information Sharing and Family Violence Reforms website.
For further enquiries, contact the DET Child Information Sharing Team via email: [email protected]