SEFTON SCP Safeguarding Policies and Procedures Online Manual

    3.4 Confidentiality

    Last updated 12/11/2018

    The safety and welfare of the child overrides all other considerations, including the following:

    • Confidentiality;
    • The gathering of evidence;
    • Commitment or loyalty to relatives, friends or colleagues.

    For further details, see Information Sharing and Confidentiality Procedure (Section 13). The overriding consideration must be the protection of the child - for this reason, absolute confidentiality cannot and should not be promised to anyone.

    If suspicions or allegations are about relatives, friends or colleagues, professional or otherwise, the concerns must not be discussed with them before making the referral. However, the parents should be made aware that a referral has been made to Children’s Social Care.

    Individual members of the public who make a referral may prefer not to give their name or alternatively they may disclose their identity, but not wish for it to be revealed to the parents/carers of the child concerned.

    Wherever possible, Children’s Social Care Services workers receiving referrals from members of the public should respect the referrer’s request for anonymity. However, referrers should not be given any guarantees of confidentiality, as there are certain limited circumstances in which the identity of a referrer may have to be given e.g. the Criminal or Family Court arena. The referrer’s request for anonymity must be recorded.

    NB - Referrals made by professionals can never be anonymous.