Common questions about Child Link
Child Link is a digital tool that displays information about a child to authorised key professionals who have responsibility for child wellbeing and safety.
Child Link shows limited but critical information, such as a child’s participation in key early childhood and education services.
By providing information, Child Link will help authorised key professionals to:
- collaborate with other services and professionals working with the child and their family
- identify needs, issues and vulnerabilities that may be present earlier and provide the support necessary to prevent an escalation of harm
- make more informed decisions about the wellbeing, safety and support needs of a child in their school or service.
Information displayed on Child Link will only be accessible to a prescribed group of authorised users who have responsibility for the wellbeing and safety of children.
Professionals will need to be authorised by a designated senior staff member within their school or service.
Child Link responds directly to several inquiries and reports over the past decade recommending the development of new information systems, improved data collection and greater sharing of relevant child information.
Child Link brings together data from existing systems and services to form a single and aggregated source of information about a child and their engagement in key childhood services, such as Maternal and Child Health services and school.
The tool is designed to help trained professionals identify and provide support for children and families, facilitate transitions between services and help children remain engaged with their education.
Child Link will also assist professionals to provide support early in the interest of child wellbeing and safety by linking together information from across universal and tertiary services and encouraging cross-service collaboration.
A Child Link Authoriser is a person in a service or school responsible for creating and managing accounts for Child Link Users within their organisation.
A Child Link User is a person trained and authorised to view relevant child profiles on Child Link.
Child Link Users may share information with others in their organisation, or with a prescribed Information Sharing Entity (ISE), under the Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS).
An individual may be both a Child Link User and Authoriser.
Security and privacy are core to the design and implementation of Child Link, with technological and operational safeguards in place to protect a child’s information.
Access, transmission and storage of information for Child Link will align to strict security protocols built into the system, under the Victorian Protective Data Security Framework.
A full suite of safeguards has been included in both the legislation and system design for Child Link which aim to prevent unauthorised access and misuse of information on Child Link.
Questions about the Child Link Implementation Pilot
Commencing in early 2022, selected schools and services will be onboarded onto Child Link and invited to provide feedback on their experiences.
As the year progresses, additional implementation sites will be added, incorporating learnings from previous site experience and contributing further insights.
This initial implementation process is designed to improve the platform through real-world user feedback and inform planning for the state-wide rollout of Child Link in 2023.
The first step will be identifying the people who will be Child Link Authorisers and Users in your organisation.
- children are safe, thriving and given every opportunity to reach their full potential
- participation and engagement in universal services for children and families is optimised
- professionals provide support and intervention earlier to reduce reliance on acute government services
- the predominant strengths-based, child and family centred practice model prioritises early intervention and prevention
- a dominant professional practice ethic among Information Sharing Entities (ISEs) of shared responsibility
- child and family service systems are effective, efficient, responsive and agile. They reflect a collaborative approach to support and share responsibility for children’s wellbeing and safety.
Following the initial implementation phase at each site, Child Link Users and their services will retain their Child Link access allowing early access to information about the children in your service.
All implementing organisations will have access to:
- technical help desk and enquiry line support
- Child Link User training
- a Secretary’s Guidelines document providing context and direction on how Child Link is enabled through legislation, policy, professional practice and technology
- practice guidance providing additional information and direction to Child Link users on how to appropriately use the platform.
During 2022, these supports will be subject to monitoring and evaluation to ensure they are effective and efficient.
By providing feedback and sharing insights, participating professionals will help us to improve Child Link and our approach to onboarding users in the future.
This incredibly important information will help shape a positive change in how we support the wellbeing and safety for all Victorian children.
It will also help us to understand how Child Link is contributing to the work of implementing organisations, and to improving outcomes for children and their families.
Once Child Link users from initial implementation sites have access to Child Link, they will remain active in the system for as long as they remain eligible users.
Additional prescribed Child Link Users across Victoria will be onboarded throughout 2023 and 2024.
Reviewed 05 August 2022