Child Information and Family Violence Information Sharing schemes
When does each information sharing scheme apply?
There are three possible scenarios to determine which scheme applies:
- Where you wish to share information to promote a child/children’s wellbeing or safety and family violence is not believed to be present, use the Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS).
- Where family violence is believed to be present and a child is at risk, use the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS) to assess and manage family violence risk to both children and adults (such as parents), as well as the CISS to share information to promote the child’s wellbeing and/or other aspects of their safety.
- Where no children are at risk, use the FVISS to share information to assess or manage family violence risk to adults.
How do the schemes work together?
- In a family violence context, there are likely to be a range of co-existing wellbeing and/or safety issues arising for a child — for example, delayed development. Hence, the CISS must also be applied to promote the wellbeing and safety of a child more broadly.
- Both information sharing schemes recognise that a child’s safety takes precedence over any individual’s privacy. Under the FVISS, both adult and child victim survivors’ safety takes precedence over a perpetrator’s privacy. As a result, consent is not required under either scheme to share information to keep a child safe.
- Both schemes recognise the importance of seeking the views and promoting the agency of children and adults (who are not perpetrators of family violence) wherever appropriate, safe and reasonable to do so.
- The Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM) must always be applied to identify and guide the assessment and management of family violence risk — for children and adults. This is to ensure that information is shared safely and lawfully, so as not to escalate family violence risk.
- The Best Interests Framework for Vulnerable Children and Young People and other developmental practice frameworks are always applicable in assessing and responding to the wellbeing or safety of children, including where family violence is present.
Reviewed 31 May 2021