Confidentiality: Childhood and Sensitive Information

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the principles and boundaries of confidentiality are to do with safeguarding children and young people. The principle - or main reason for having confidentiality in settings is to maintain positive, supportive, respectful relationships with children and young people that recognises each individual's right to privacy, their right to protection and their right to free expression. This could be done by finding quiet less public areas for discussing information, ensuring information given within a setting isn't repeated outside of the setting for less professional reasons, everyone connected with a setting understands how sharing information relating to safeguarding is valued and welcomed. A boundary of confidentiality is that it isn't always appropriate/safe to keep information confidential where there may be a risk of harm to a child or young person. Confidentiality is essential in schools.

The same rules of confidentiality apply whether you are employed by the school or you are working as a volunteer. You may have been told sensitive information about a child because it helps you to carry out your role, for example, about their health or particular needs. This is sensitive information and should never be a topic for discussion in the staff room or with other parents.

As a teaching or learning support assistant, you may find that parents approach you to tell you personal or sensitive information. You must let them know that you would need to share it with your manager or supervisor. Information can be passed on without permission when a child is at risk of abuse or harm. However, the information should only be passed to specific people who ‘need to know’. They can then take action and provide support to protect the child. If you are in doubt, you should always ask for advice.

Information sharing
In some circumstances, when a child may be at risk of significant harm, information can be shared without consent with professionals who need to know. Failure to...
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