To guide child protection workers when a request is received for access to client documents held by the Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support division.
The Western Australian Freedom of Information Act 1992 gives every person the right to apply for access to documents held by State Public Sector agencies and government departments, local authorities, statutory authorities and Ministers.
The Freedom of Information team provides help and advice on all aspects of Freedom of Information. The team is located within Corporate Information and can be contacted on (08) 9222 2555. For more information refer to Administration Manual entry Freedom of information requests.
Child protection workers should refer to Chapter 4.1: Client requests: Access to records and electronic recording.
If a request for information held in client files is received from a lawyer, via a subpoena, a witness summons or any other form of legal request, child protection workers must contact the Release of Information Unit, Corporate Information immediately.
The Children and Community Services Act 2004 prohibits the release of information relating to the identity of informants, with some limited exceptions. There are other types of information which are not required to be released, for example communications with, and advice from, lawyers acting on behalf of Communities.
If an officer from Western Australia Police Service (WA Police) produces a warrant for access to information on a client file, child protection workers should contact Release of Information, Corporate Information immediately for advice.
All other requests for information from the WA Police must follow the procedures outlined in Chapter 4.2: Working with other agencies - memoranda of understanding and information sharing.
Refer to Chapter 4.2: Working with other agencies - memoranda of understanding and information sharing.