Referrals and Consent
Young women’s consent and access to information
In order to accept a referral into our services and to work with young women, the referring agent must have gained young women’s consent to make the referral and to share the young woman’s personal data with us.
Any referrals made into our services without consent of the young woman will be rejected.
As detailed below, a defining feature of our approach is ensuring that we are seeking young women’s consent wherever possible through our work together and ensure that she is an active participant in the change process and in the efforts to keep her safe.
Young Women’s Privacy Statement
In order to hold any information about young women, we must seek their consent to do so. Only if we have this consent can we work with them.
During the introductory session with young women we will explain and ask them to sign our Young Women's Privacy Statement. These can be seen here:
Where a young woman is under the age of 16 we must have consent from her parents or carers in order to work with her.
As detailed in the Children’s Act 1989, parents continue to have parental responsibility for their child, even when they are no longer living with them, and until the parental responsibility moves to the local authority under child protection and other legal processes. As such, parents should be kept informed about their children and participate in decisions made about their child’s future.
Where a child is in care, the carers’ consent should be sought.
Where the parental responsibility sits with the local authority, the young woman’s social worker should provide consent.
Responsibility for seeking parental consent for rereferral into our services lies with the referring agent. In most cases we would not accept a referral into our services for girls under the age of 16 without parental or carer consent.
There will, however, be scenarios where informing parents about a referral into our services will potentially increase the risk for the young woman. These scenarios will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and decisions to inform the parent or not, will be made by the statutory professional with lead responsibility and/or the referring agent.
Regardless of whether we have parent, carer or corporate parent consent – if the young woman under 16 does not consent to the referral, we cannot work with her.