Sharing information to better support Victorian children and families.
The Victorian Government has introduced new laws to make it easier for professionals to collaborate with each other, and better support the children and families they are working with:
- The Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS), which enables information to be shared to promote the wellbeing or safety of a child;
- The Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS), which enables information to be shared to assess or manage family violence risk.
Often there is a significant overlap between these issues, so the new legislative schemes are designed to work together to support professionals to respond to families and children in a holistic way.
These reforms aim to streamline information sharing arrangements by promoting a shared responsibility for child wellbeing and safety and family violence and enabling increased collaboration and better risk assessment and management across the service system.
The schemes are being rolled out in alignment with the Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM) Framework. MARAM provides a risk assessment and management lens to support and guide professional decision making in relation to the information sharing schemes.
For more information on the information sharing schemes, see Information sharing schemes and the MARAM framework page on the Vic.Gov website.
How information can be shared with or requested from the department
Currently the department's Child Protection and Housing areas are prescribed under the information sharing schemes.
Prescribed organisations and services can request information from, or share information with, the department relating to Child Protection or Housing. This can be done at a local level – for example, with a department case worker or housing officer currently involved with a child or family.
If you have concerns that a child is at risk of significant harm as a result of abuse or neglect, please make a report to Child Protection intake service covering the local government area where the child normally lives. For more information about making a report see Child Protection contacts on our Services website.
To report concerns about the immediate safety of a child outside of normal business hours, contact the After Hours Child Protection Emergency Service on 13 12 78.
To report concerns that are life threatening, call Victoria Police 000.
In circumstances where the existing worker is unknown, or if the information is historical or relates to a closed Child Protection case, prescribed organisations can email the department's Information Sharing Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1300 090 979.