Somerset: Policy on Disclosing Identity of a Survivor
Somerset Council has now responded to my request for details on their policy regarding disclosing the identity of adult survivors of child abuse.
Interestingly while they do not have a specific policy they do note that they have to work under the Care Act 2014 and Care and Support Statutory Guidance 2016, the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 and the Data Protection
This is an interesting repose, acknowledging as it does that there is some legal requirements on them even if they are not specificity related to adult survivors of child abuse.
The general policy was described as
We take the decision to disclose the identity of people who disclose historic
very seriously. This would not be a decision that Somerset County Council
takes in isolation;
we would work with relevant partner organisations to decide what
information should be
disclosed, to whom and by whom. The information disclosed depends on the nature of the criminal investigation and is dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
One concern I have is that when asked what support & protection was be provided should a disclosure take place the response didn’t seem to acknowledge the needs of the survivor concentrating on the risk to any investigation
The decision to disclose the ‘complainant’s’ details to the alleged abuser will be
fully risk assessed as part of a multi-agency strategy discussion to ascertain the parameters
of this disclosure and the impact it could have on an investigation.
You can read the full response in this PDF somerset-foi-disclosure