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If you are being asked to disclose information by another agency

When asked to disclose information, discuss with the requestor why the information is needed and to what use it will be put. The purpose must come within the requestor’s legal responsibilities to protect and serve children. Understanding the use for which the information is needed will also help you to limit the disclosure to only the specific information necessary and relevant for the intended purpose.

Consider the following:
  1. Is the information being requested necessary, relevant and important to case planning and services to the child and family? If not, there is no reason to share. Respect the privacy of the family.
  2. Is it information that was generated by your agency or obtained from elsewhere? If it was from elsewhere, you may not have the authority to redisclose it. It may be better to refer the person to the original source.
  3. Is there a release form that authorizes disclosure? If so, is the release properly executed by an appropriate person authorized to sign such release; is it sufficiently specific to identify the specific information being sought and is the release still valid or has it expired? If not, does the law require one?
  4. Is the person asking for it legally entitled to it without consent? To determine, ascertain the person’s role, the reason for requesting it and what it will be used for. If it’s not clear, consult legal counsel or your department's policy on releasing information.
  5. When you do share information, you may want to:
    • mark it as confidential and not to be redisclosed;
    • if only part of the information that you hold is needed, redact and withhold the remainder;
    • if the document or records contain confidential information about another person not covered by the release, that information should be redacted; or
    • document the disclosure.


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