Skip to content

Early Help

A guide to information sharing

Information sharing is vital to improve outcomes for children and vulnerable people, protect their rights, deliver better and more efficient services and is sometimes essential to keep people safe.

Data Protection laws are not a barrier to sharing information but provide a framework to ensure that personal information about identifiable living individuals is obtained, used, stored, shared, disclosed and deleted legally, professionally, securely and appropriately.

Necessary, proportionate, relevant, accurate, timely and secure.

Ensure that the personal data you share is necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, does not include unnecessary data, is shared only with those people who need to have it, and is accurate and up- to- date, is shared in a timely fashion, and is shared securely.

Be open and transparent with families about why, what, how and with who their personal data could or will be shared with and obtain their consent where necessary (unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so).

Share information with consent where required and respect the wishes of those who do not consent to share their personal data.

You can still share personal data without consent if there is a lawful basis, or if it is necessary to support the prevention or detection of crime

All decisions about sharing information should be taken in the best interests of the child and the wellbeing and safety of the individuals who may be affected.

Keep a record of your decision and the reason for it – whether it is to share information or not. If you decide to share, the record what you have shared, with who and for what purpose.

If you are in doubt, seek advice (without disclosing the identity of the person where possible).

Useful resources:

Early Help Information Sharing Consent Form

Working Practice Agreement for the sharing of information to support Early Help

Privacy notice for Early Help

A Devon County Council guide to information sharing

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) guidance from Devon County Council 

Working Together to Safeguard Children: A Government guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children 

Information sharing Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers

One minute guidance documents about sharing information on transition to a new school or college


If you are concerned that a child is being abused please call

0345 155 1071

or email

Professionals should complete the MASH contact form.

If it’s an emergency call 999