Information sharing scheme
- Northern Territory
Fourth Action Plan actions
- Improve support and service system responses
- 17 Collaborate across services, sectors and workforces to ensure responses to women affected by domestic, family and sexual violence are coordinated, meet women’s needs, avoid women having to retell their story and promote their recovery.
What are we doing?
The Northern Territory Government has committed $6.49million from 2019-20 ongoing for initiatives under Action Plan 1: Changing Attitudes, Intervening Earlier and Responding Better (2018-2021) of the Northern Territory’s Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Reduction Framework 2018-2028 Safe, respected and free from violence. This investment includes the introduction of new information sharing practices and legislation.
What have we achieved so far?
In October 2018, the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly passed the Domestic and Family Violence Amendment (Information Sharing) Act 2018 to create a new domestic and family violence information sharing scheme. The new scheme facilitates coordinated and timely sharing of information between authorised entities in order to assess, lessen and prevent serious threat to a person’s life, health, safety or welfare because of domestic and family violence. The new information sharing scheme commenced on 30 August 2019.
Certain Northern Territory Government agencies are prescribed by the Domestic and Family Violence Amendment (Information Sharing) Act 2018 as Information Sharing Entities. Information Sharing Entities must participate in the information sharing scheme and must align their policies, procedures, practice guidance and tools relevant to the sharing of information with the Northern Territory Risk Assessment and Management Framework.
The Domestic and Family Violence Risk Assessment and Management Framework ensures a consistent standard for identifying, assessing and responding to Territorians at risk of domestic and family violence and promotes an integrated, coordinated service system.
Non-government organisations providing a domestic and family violence-related service can apply to be prescribed as an Information Sharing Entity and participate in the information sharing scheme. The Minister for Territory Families must be satisfied they will comply with Information Sharing Guidelines and align their policies, procedures, practice guidance and tools with the Risk Assessment and Management Framework before approving the application.
In June 2021, the first round of non-government organisations to be approved as Information Sharing Entities were prescribed by regulation.
An online training module has been developed for the information sharing scheme and a webpage containing the Information Sharing Guidelines, templates and other resources is available from the Territory Families website.
What is next?
- The second round of applications from non-government organisations to be prescribed as an Information Sharing Entity closed in July 2021, with further rounds planned on a bi-annual basis.
- The Office of the Information Commissioner has been charged with conducting a review into the information sharing scheme in 2021-22 and 2024-25. The first review is expected to commence in late 2021.
What difference will we make?
- Domestic and family violence service providers adopt a consistent standard for identifying, assessing and responding to Territorians at risk of domestic and family violence.
- Through information sharing, services are able to collaborate more effectively to improve safety for Territorians experiencing domestic and family violence; facilitate timely responses and referrals; and prevent victims from having to tell their stories multiple times.
- Territorians at risk of experiencing violence are identified early and provided with effective interventions.
- Legislation, policy and funding models enable a responsive, high quality and accountable domestic, family and sexual violence system.