Phase two (current)
The Victorian Government is progressing information sharing and family violence reforms. The reforms enable professionals to share information with each other to promote the wellbeing and safety of Victorian children and families.
The proposed Child Wellbeing and Safety (Information Sharing) Amendment Regulations 2020, will enable the implementation of Phase 2 of the Child Information Sharing Scheme (CIS Scheme) in 2021. These proposed regulations will authorise a further range of organisations and services to participate in the CIS Scheme.
The supporting Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) outlines the:
- regulatory options and preferred option for regulation
- requirements for meeting the new regulations
- estimated upfront and ongoing costs associated with the preferred option
- workforces proposed for inclusion in the scheme, such as:
- early childhood education care (ECEC) providers
- outside school hours care (OSHC) providers
- health and support services
- public hospitals
- statutory bodies.
The proposed regulations do not amend the existing scheme in relation to the scope of, and thresholds for, sharing information.
Updated commencement of phase two
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the commencement of Phase Two has been delayed and is now proposed to commence in the first half of 2021.
This delay will support the critical role educators and universal health services play in Victoria.
Existing legislative frameworks for appropriate information sharing remain in place in cases where there are concerns for the safety of children and victim survivors of family violence. Mandatory reporting also remains in place where there are concerns for the safety of children.
Preparation for the commencement of Phase Two in 2021 is continuing. This consultation will be updated as more information becomes available.
There are three options identified in relation to the proposed regulations:
- Option 1 – Targeted prescription of universal health services.
- Option 2 – Targeted prescription of universal health and education services and other key child service providers.
- Option 3 – Services prescribed in Option 2 with the addition of other universal health and education services and child service providers.
The preferred option is Option 2, which is the subject of this consultation.
The proposed regulations will affect universal health and education services and other key child services, including:
- schools (including student disengagement and wellbeing services)
- early childhood education and care (ECEC) providers
- outside school hours care (OSHC) providers
- health and support services
- government statutory bodies and organisations/services.
For organisations prescribed under the proposed regulations, there will be key operational requirements and estimated costs associated with meeting the Amendment Regulations. For information about the analysis of operational requirements and estimated costs, please review the RIS Executive Summary (p. 8-10).
All costs to Information Sharing Entities (ISEs) are calculated on the basis of the time it will take staff to perform specific tasks, and do not reflect cash liability for any ISEs. For example, the cost of training is borne by the Victorian Government, but there will be resourcing implications for organisations as staff are attending training and, therefore, diverted from their professional obligations.
Phase one (closed)
A top priority of the Victorian Government is keeping children safe and supporting their wellbeing.
Over the last decade, many independent inquiries and reviews have recommended reform to Victoria’s child information sharing laws, as a lack of information sharing has contributed to negative outcomes to the wellbeing and safety of Victorian children.
The Child Information Sharing (CIS) Scheme responds to these recommendations, including recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Three interrelated reforms to improve information sharing and risk assessment are being progressed by the Victorian Government.
These schemes strengthen the ability of authorised and trained professionals and organisations to work better together to identify vulnerability and risk early to make sure children and families get the help they need as early as possible.
The Child Information Sharing (CIS) Scheme, which will start on 3 September 2018 for a first phase of organisations, will allow information sharing between authorised and trained professionals specifically to promote children’s wellbeing and safety.
All Victorian children and young people from 0 to under 18 years of age will be covered by the new Scheme.
The Family Violence Information Sharing (FVIS) Scheme, which was introduced on 28 February 2018, enables information sharing between authorised and trained organisations and professionals specifically to assess and manage family violence risk to children and adults.
Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM) Framework) is being redeveloped in line with recommendation one of the Royal Commission into Family Violence. The Framework will support authorised and trained organisations and professionals in their roles and responsibilities to specifically assess and manage family violence risk to better protect victims and hold perpetrators to account.
Thank you for your participation
The CIS Scheme Regulations, Regulatory Impact Statement, Ministerial Guidelines and Human Rights Certificate were open for public consultation over May to July 2018.
With consideration of the feedback received at public forums and through written submissions, the Minister for Families and Children has announced her decision to proceed with the making of the Child Wellbeing and Safety (Information Sharing) Regulations 2018.
The Notice of Decision and Statement of Reasons outline the response to the key issues raised in public consultation and address the amendments made to the finalised CIS Regulations.
The new CIS Regulations will commence from 27 September 2018 for a first phase of prescribed information sharing entities, in alignment with the Family Violence Protection (Information Sharing and Risk Management) Regulations 2018.
The CIS Ministerial Guidelines have also been published to assist information sharing entities to handle confidential information responsibly, safely and appropriately under the scheme.
The CIS Regulations and Ministerial Guidelines can be found on the Child Information Sharing website
The key documents
How to participate
The primary purpose for collecting this information is to engage stakeholders on the Child Information Sharing (CIS) Scheme, as part of a 28-day mandatory consultation period for new legislation.
The Victorian Government is seeking the views and professional opinions of relevant stakeholders to inform the development and implementation of the CIS Scheme (including on the Ministerial Guidelines, Regulations and Regulatory Impact Statement).
The Department of Education and Training (DET), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Family Safety Victoria (FSV) are overseeing the CIS Scheme.
The information gathered will be used to inform the Department’s development of materials and public position on the Child Information Sharing Scheme, and for no other purpose.
Submissions will require at a minimum an email address, but no other unique information. People will be able to opt for their names to be associated with their views expressed. The consultation will not collect any sensitive or health information except for email addresses.
The only purpose of the consultation submission is to inform the Department’s development of materials and public position on the Child Information Sharing Scheme.
The Engage Victorian online platform will initially collect the information, before transfer to a restricted location on the Department’s Sharepoint system. Only those closely involved in the project will have permission to access the information. Colleagues in DHHS will receive the information as an email attachment, with a confidential tag, and then stored in a secure location with restricted access.
The information will remain in the servers of DET and DHHS.