Supporting children and families
New legislation to clarify information sharing provisions.
Public bodies and other organisations are to have a duty to consider if the sharing of information will promote, support or safeguard the wellbeing of a child or young person.
The duty forms part of the Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill, which will also ensure that the sharing is compatible with current law and will introduce a new code of practice for information sharing with regard to the Named Person service.
Publication of the Bill follows the parliamentary statement by Deputy First Minister John Swinney earlier this year.
Mr Swinney said:
“Earlier this year I outlined the next steps for the Named Person service, following the Supreme Court judgment which required changes to the provisions relating to information sharing in the 2014 Act. I am therefore very pleased to bring forward the Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill.
“The new provisions require Named Person service providers and other responsible authorities to consider whether sharing information is likely to promote, support or safeguard the wellbeing of the child or young person. They must also then consider whether sharing that information would be compatible with data protection law, human rights law and the law of confidentiality. Only if information can be shared consistent with these legal constraints will there be a power to share it.
“The Supreme Court ruled definitively that the intention of providing a Named Person for every child to promote and safeguard their wellbeing was ‘unquestionably legitimate and benign’ but young people and families must have confidence that information will be shared only where their rights can be respected.
“The Bill being published today will bring consistency, clarity and coherence to the practice of sharing information about children and young people’s wellbeing across Scotland. We must ensure that we get it right for every child, but in a way that respects the rights of families fully.”