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2. Information sharing and recording

  • The lack of information sharing between and within agencies has been a key feature of child abuse inquiries and Serious Case Reviews. It is important to recognise that communication in complex cases is multi¬faceted. In his analysis of the Victoria Climbie case, Parton (2004) identified failures in communication between practitioners and first-line managers, between different professionals, organisations and agencies and concluded that the failures were not in respect of information sharing itself but rather the management of that information.
  • Chronologies of the major events in a child’s life are important to establish key issues and possible patterns. The haphazard recording of information leads to key information being lost and the significance of key events in that child’s life may not emerge.

    d et al, 2008; SWIA, 2010

  • Barriers to effective inter-professional communication can be hard to break down and joint working practices which include shadowing and secondment should be considered to facilitate inter-agency information sharing and understanding.
  • Information sharing is not an end in itself but a means by which appropriate action can be taken. Transparent protocols need to be developed to assist the tracking of the sharing of information, with regard to information sent, received and understood, and due emphasis needs to be placed on the analysis and management of information that is shared.

Parton, 2004; White and Featherstone, 2005