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If you are seeking information from another agency

Even if the law allows disclosure of information, anyone seeking information about a child and his or her family should always use good judgment when seeking highly sensitive information. You must consider whether you really need the information to accomplish your purpose.

Ask yourself the following questions:
  1. Why do you need the information? The requestor may ask you this to ensure that the information is being shared for permissible reasons.
  2. How are you going to use the information to fulfill your legal responsibilities toward the child?
  3. How will you protect the information from improper use?
  4. What is the legal authority for you to obtain the information?
  5. Is there a requirement that the information be disposed of after your use of it?
  6. Is there a possibility that you will need to further disclose the information to others?
  7. Is there a need and/or a procedure for keeping a log of the confidential information you have obtained?
  8. Is the family aware that this information is being shared? Do you need to obtain authorization from a family member? If so, provide sufficient information to the family so that they remain a part of the process. See Consent and Releases.
Not all of these questions will be relevant in all circumstances, but keeping them in mind will help you determine what your responsibilities are towards protecting the confidentiality interests of those you are serving.


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