Confidentiality and Information Sharing

Confidentiality and information sharing are key concerns for LGBT young people.

LGBT young people worry about professionals and adults disclosing information about their sexual orientation or gender identity to other professionals, their peers or parents/carers. They are also concerned that professionals will take actions which they have not agreed to in response to incidents of bullying, coming out or requests for advice.

First, although it is important to understand these concerns, you will be duty bound to report any issue pertaining to child protection or vulnerable adults at risk of abuse. However, in these cases it should be made clear that it is the child protection issue or risk that is leading you to breach confidentiality rather than the young person’s sexual orientation or gender identity: identifying as LGBT is not a child protection concern or risk in itself.

In cases unrelated to child protection or vulnerable adults it is important to understand LGBT young people’s concerns about confidentiality and to respect this wherever possible. Confidentiality policies which young people are aware of and which take into account these kinds of scenarios can help to guide and support practice in this area and encourage young people to have the confidence to disclose information.

Additional Information

• More information regarding Child Protection can be found in the Scottish Government’s Framework for the Protection of Children and Young People ‘Getting it Right for Every Child’.

• Information on Children’s Rights and their ‘Right to Privacy’ can be found on the website for Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People.

• Information on Protecting Vulnerable Adults as defined by the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 can be found on the Scottish Govt website: