Building PHC nurses’ confidence to implement CISS in the workplace

By Alisha Komninos, APNA Project Coordinator and Cressida Bradley, APNA Project Officer  

Source: APNA Primary Times Winter 2023 (Volume 23 Issue 1)


APNA is excited to announce that we are back in 2023, supporting Victorian primary health care (PHC) nurses and health-care teams to implement the Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS) in the PHC setting. Although the CISS is Victorian-based, child wellbeing and safety is a national priority, and all states and territories are working to improve health and wellbeing information sharing practices. Understanding Victoria’s information sharing reforms is also essential for PHC nurses working in cross-border settings. 

In the last edition of Primary Times, we provided an in-depth report on the CISS reforms introduced in Victoria from 2018. The reforms were introduced in two phases. In 2018, Phase One included key organisations, such as maternal and child health, mental health, and alcohol and other drug services as prescribed Information Sharing Entities (ISEs), among others. Phase Two, in 2021, expanded the list of prescribed or authorised organisations to include education portfolio workforces, such as schools and kindergartens, other health portfolio workforces, including public hospitals and community health services, as well as court workforces, such as the Children’s Court of Victoria. Under the reforms, ISEs are authorised to share information with each other to promote the wellbeing and safety of children. 

To promote awareness of the CISS, in 2022 APNA held six CISS-related education sessions reaching over 500 Victorian nurses. We also developed three case studies, created a flow chart summarising the rollout of the CISS and the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS) for PHC nurses, and developed acronym and frequently-asked-questions (FAQs) resources. These were the first resources designed specifically to support PHC nurses in implementing the CISS. You can access these resources on the APNA CISS Project webpage using the QR code shown here.  

Now in 2023, the APNA CISS team is building PHC nurses’ confidence to implement CISS in their workplaces, to respond to child information sharing enquiries and proactively share information across sectors to improve child wellbeing and safety. PHC nurses are well placed to champion and apply CISS practices and build team capacity to improve cross-sector collaboration. 

The APNA CISS team is building PHC nurses’ confidence to implement CISS in their workplaces, to respond to child information sharing enquiries and proactively share information across sectors to improve child wellbeing and safety

It is important that PHC nurses working in various settings are confident about what information can be shared when they receive an information sharing request from another ISE, for example, a school or maternal child health service. It’s also important that PHC nurses and their colleagues know how to share the information. The challenge ahead is for PHC nurses working in prescribed or authorised ISEs to embed the scheme into their practice to share information and create networks to support and protect children. 

The APNA CISS team is ready to help PHC nurses build on last year’s knowledge to improve information sharing across sectors and promote child wellbeing and safety through access to support and resources, education information sessions, an upcoming podcast segment, and a CISS snapshot feature at the APNA Festival of Nursing conference in July. We also encourage nurses to join us in a new CISS community of practice to engage in virtual discussions and keep updated with CISS information. 

Our education information sessions this year will cover various important topics, including supporting children's social and emotional wellbeing, child wellbeing and inclusion in the school setting, a trauma-informed approach to PHC, and optimising health and wellbeing for children and young people living in out-of-home care. There are also opportunities to focus on using child information sharing to support child wellbeing and safety for vulnerable communities, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and children in culturally and linguistically diverse communities. 

We invite you to participate in the APNA CISS Project in any capacity you can and encourage you to spread awareness of CISS with cross-border workforces to support collaboration in rural border areas for equitable CISS implementation. Together, we can all make a change to improve the wellbeing and safety of children. 

 

Acknowledgement 

The APNA ‘Improving Child Safety and Wellbeing and Family Violence Outcomes Project’ is supported by the Victorian Government under the Child Information Sharing Capacity Building Grants Program.  

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.


© Copyright 2024 Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA). All rights reserved. MRM by Bond Software.

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