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The Ombudsman's information sharing guidelines for promoting safety and wellbeing (ISG) (PDF 13.6MB) provide a consistent state-wide process for information sharing between relevant government agencies and with contracted non-government agencies where there is a risk to the safety or wellbeing of a person.
In 2013 the South Australian Cabinet directed that the scope of the ISG be broadened to include information sharing for all vulnerable population groups, including all adults, irrespective of their status as parents or caregivers, where there are threats to safety and wellbeing.
This decision means service providers can apply the ISG whether they work with adults or children.
The ISG procedure (PDF 400KB) applies to all Department for Education staff and NGOs contracted by the department to provide services to children and families
The ISG applies to all Department for Education staff and most significantly to those who are involved in:
- working directly with children and families
- line management or supervision of people who work with children and families
- investigations of concerns or allegations relating to children and young people’s safety and wellbeing
- providing legal advice
- professional development and workforce training
- data management and records management
- screening and suitability assessments
- licensing and registration
- policy and practice development, and
- IT systems
The ISG also applies to Government agencies and non-government organisations acting under contract with the state government including those working in education, child protection, health, policing, juvenile justice, disability, housing, mental health, family violence, drug and alcohol services, Aboriginal community controlled services, aged care, correctional services and investigations and screening units.
The procedure outlines that:
- seeking the consent of adults and children to share their personal information is best practice, wherever it is safe and practicable to do so
- staff must follow the ISG decision making steps when sharing information so that risks are appropriately understood, managed and documented
- the ISG does not override the department's responsibilities or the obligations of staff to report suspected child abuse or neglect.
The following resources provide more information.