Safeguarding - see it, report it, stop it

Agencies are set to work even more closely together to safeguard vulnerable children, young people and adults in Wolverhampton.

Professionals from across the statutory and voluntary sector including the council, police and probation services, schools and health providers came together last month to develop their vision for a Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) in the city.

MASHs have been established in a number of areas across the country, including Sandwell, Coventry and Birmingham, and see agencies working together to safeguard residents. 

Councillor Val Gibson, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub will have an instrumental role to play in protecting our children, young people and vulnerable adults.

“We will be working closely with colleagues in other areas to learn what has worked well for them, and also how they have overcome some of the challenges they faced.”

Strategic Director Linda Sanders added: “Our vision is for a central, single point for all agencies to refer child protection and safeguarding referrals to.

“Individuals from different agencies will be co-located together, having joint discussions on social care referrals and agreeing the most appropriate course of action for the individuals and families.
 
“We know that there are inconsistencies in the current systems and how long it takes to gather a range of information in order to sufficiently understand risk.  The MASH will address all of those issues and we are really keen to get going.

“The event to develop the vision for the MASH clearly demonstrated the amount of commitment and enthusiasm there is in the city to move this forward – and for agencies to work together effectively to safeguard residents.”

In order to maintain the momentum, a MASH Operations Group, consisting of all the relevant professionals, will meet weekly to look at the best way of co-locating a range of agencies and understanding the logistical issues around accommodation and ICT. They will also be looking to put in place robust arrangements in terms of information governance, practice and procedures and workforce development.

The MASH Operations Group will report to the MASH Strategic Board who will in turn provide updates to Wolverhampton’s Adult and Children Safeguarding Boards.

There will be regular communications on how the development is progressing. In the meantime, anyone with any questions about the Wolverhampton MASH should contact Emma Bennett, Service Director for Children and Young People, via emma.bennett@wolverhampton.gov.uk.

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