Direction relating to the Redfern Waterloo Partnership Project

This Direction applied to agencies participating in the Redfern Waterloo Partnership Project. It was made on 2 February 2006 and had effect for 12 months from this date or until the completion of the project whichever occurs later. A related Direction has been made under s62 of the HRIP Act.

This is a Direction under s. 41(1) of the PPIP Act.

Interpretation

In this Direction:

“Case Coordination Framework” means the procedure for referral and management of complex cases and crisis cases described in this Direction;

“CCA Criteria” means Case Coordination Assessment Criteria, by which a Contact Agency assesses a case for referral to the RWCCSOG for management under the Case Coordination Framework;

“child” means a person under the age of 16 years;

“Contact Agency” means the individual RWP Participating Agency which first considers a case for referral to the RWCCSOG for management under the Case Coordination Framework;

“NGO” means a funded non-Government organisation, which provides services to communities covered by the RWP Project.

“PPIP Act” means the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998;

“RWCCSOG” means the Redfern Waterloo Case Coordination Senior Officers’ Group, which is comprised of representatives from the RWP Participating Agencies;

“RWP Participating Agencies” means the public sector agencies participating in the RWP Project, as listed in the Schedule to this Direction;

“RWP Project” means the Redfern Waterloo Partnership Project;

“young person” means a person who is aged 16 years or over but who is under the age of 25 years.

Background

The RWP Project is an initiative of the RWP Participating Agencies, in partnership with a number of NGOs. The RWP Project is intended to improve case coordination across the RWP Participating Agencies and NGOs regarding the management of complex cases and crisis cases involving children, young people and families in the Redfern Waterloo area. This is to be achieved by the implementation of a Case Coordination Framework governing the management of such cases and the exchange of personal information between, and use of personal information by, the RWP Participating Agencies and the NGOs. The RWP Project is overseen by the RWCCSOG.

Operation of the Case Coordination Framework

The steps in the referral and management of complex cases and crisis cases within the Case Coordination Framework are:

(1) If a Contact Agency becomes aware that a child or young person may meet the following CCA Criteria:

a. The child/young person temporarily or permanently resides in Redfern, Darlington or Waterloo;
b. The child/young person is a high level risk to themselves and/or others;
c. Multiple agency collaboration is necessary due to the complexity of the case; and
d. Agency intervention has failed to reduce the risks so far;

the Contact Agency will make an assessment as to whether it is appropriate, based on an application of the CCA Criteria, to refer the case to RWCCSOG for assessment and possible management under the Case Coordination Framework.

(2) If the Contact Agency concludes on the basis of its assessment of the case against the CCA Criteria that the case should not be referred to the RWCCSOG, the agency will proceed to deal with the case in accordance with the agency’s usual procedures.

(3) If the Contact Agency concludes on the basis of its assessment of the case against the CCA Criteria that the case should be referred to the RWCCSOG, the agency must determine whether it is in the best interests of the child/young person and/or the public interest to obtain the consent of the child/young person (or, where appropriate, a parent or guardian). In particular, if there are reasonable grounds to believe that seeking consent could unreasonably prevent or delay necessary services being provided with the result that the child/young person or third parties might suffer harm, the Contact Agency will not seek consent. The consent in question will be consent to refer the case to the RWCCSOG and for personal information about the child/young person to be collected, used and disclosed by the RWP Participating Agencies and the NGOs for the purpose of assessing and managing the case under the Case Coordination Framework;

(4) If the Contact Agency determines that it is not in the best interests of the child/young person and/or the public interest to obtain such consent, or if consent has been sought but refused, the agency will rely upon the exemptions operating under this Direction to refer the case to RWCCSOG. If consent is obtained, the Contact Agency will refer the case to RWCCSOG in accordance with that consent;

(5) On referral, the RWCCSOG will assess whether management of the case under the Case Coordination Framework is appropriate. If the RWCCSOG determines that such case management is not appropriate, no further exchange of personal information between the RWP Participating Agencies will take place pursuant to the Case Coordination Framework. If the RWCCSOG determines that case management under the Case Coordination Framework is appropriate, it will identify which RWP Participating Agencies should be responsible for planning and implementing the management of the case. The RWCCSOG will also appoint a lead agency from among those agencies;

(6) If a case has been referred to the RWCCSOG without the consent of the child/young person (or, where appropriate, a parent or guardian), the RWCCSOG will make a determination as to whether it is in the best interests of the child/young person and/or the public interest to obtain such consent. In particular, if there are reasonable grounds to believe that seeking consent could unreasonably prevent or delay necessary services being provided with the result that the child/young person or third parties might suffer harm, the RWCCSOG will not seek consent. The consent in question will be consent to personal information being collected, used and disclosed by the RWP Participating Agencies and the NGOs for the purpose of assessing and managing the case under the Case Management Framework;

(7) If the RWCCSOG does determine that case management under the Case Coordination Framework is appropriate but determines that it is not in the best interests of the child/young person and/or the public interest to obtain consent, or if consent has been sought but refused, (either wholly or partially) the RWP Participating Agencies will proceed to collect, use and disclose personal information relating to the case, pursuant to the exemptions operating under this Direction. If consent is obtained, the RWP Participating Agencies will act in accordance with that consent.

(8) In the course of assessing and managing a case under the Case Coordination Framework, the RWP Participating Agencies may collect personal information from, and disclose personal information to, NGOs.

(9) In exceptional circumstances that involve an ongoing risk of harm to children, young people or the community, such as the occurrence of a riot in the Redfern, Waterloo or Darlington areas, RWCCSOG will assess whether management of particular cases involving children or young persons under the Case Coordination Framework is appropriate, without referral from a Contact Agency in the manner described at step (1) and without taking the steps outlined above relating to seeking consent. If the RWCCSOG does determine that management of such a case is appropriate, the RWP Participating Agencies may exchange personal information about the case and use such information for the purpose of assessing and managing the case. If necessary, the chair of RWCCSOG or the Director Operations (Strategic Projects), Premier’s Department may make assessments and determinations on behalf of the RWCCSOG if the urgent calling of the RWCCSOG meeting is not possible in the short term. If the chair of RWCCSOG or the Director Operations (Strategic Projects), Premier’s Department makes urgent assessments and determinations of this kind, the chair or the Director Operations (Strategic Projects), Premier’s Department is to inform the RWCCSOG of the details at its next meeting.

Public interest

This Direction has been made to allow the RWP Participating Agencies to collect, use and disclose personal information for the purpose of implementing the objectives of the RWP Project. I am satisfied that the public interest in making this Direction to enable the implementation of the RWP Project is greater than the public interest in requiring the agencies to comply with the Information Protection Principles as referred to in the provision below. A corresponding direction may apply to the RWP Project in respect of the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002.

Coverage

This Direction covers each public sector agency which is a RWP Project Participating Agency, as listed in the Schedule to this Direction.

Provisions

1. RWP Participating Agencies, in collecting, using and disclosing personal information in accordance with the RWP Project Case Coordination Framework, as described in this Direction, need not comply with:

(a) section 8(1) of the PIPP Act, but only to the extent that RWP Participating Agencies may collect personal information for a lawful purpose that is not directly related to a function or activity of that agency; or
(b) sections 9, 10, 17, 18 or 19 of the PPIP Act.
 

2. Paragraph 1 is subject to the condition that the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by Participating Agencies is reasonably relevant and reasonably necessary for the purpose of meeting the objects of the RWP Project.

3. The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 are not intended to override and do not override any other legal requirement dealing with the collection, use or disclosure of information by a participating agency.

Note. For example, this direction does not override secrecy or confidentiality provisions in another Act.

Duration

This Direction has effect for twelve months from the date of this direction or until the completion of the project, whichever occurs later.

Signed by me on this 2nd day of February 2006.

John Dickie
Acting Privacy Commissioner

Schedule Public sector agencies covered by this direction (RWP Project Participating Agencies)

NSW Police

Department of Community Services

Department of Health

Department of Housing

Department of Aboriginal Affairs

Department of Education and Training

Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care

Department of Corrective Services

Department of Juvenile Justice

Premier’s Department

Sydney South West Area Health Service

Redfern-Waterloo Authority

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