New body to protect county’s vulnerable children

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A new body will change the way police, social workers and schools aim to protect vulnerable children across the county.

A central Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub, or MASH, has been agreed, with about 20 different agencies signing up.

The agreement means organisations such as the police, Northamptonshire County Council and Northampton Borough Council, as well as teachers, probation staff and youth offending workers will share more information about potentially vulnerable children.

The aim of the new body is to make sure small, but potentially costly, pieces of information are not missed by professionals. Information will be examined by the central hub. The agreement will also make sure professionals who work to help families across the county will all have the relevant training.

Janet Galley, the independent chairman of the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCBN), said: “Children should expect a quicker response to these concerns. They should expect a better plan to help them.

“That is what we are expecting, to find the outcomes of what the agencies do with young people are likely to be more successful as they are going to be better informed. If we have a young person who is self-harming or distressed then we would expect to get in there and understand what help is needed.”

Beverley Czyz, business manager of the LSCBN, added: “It’s not just professional thinking about social care provision, but looking at what agencies can do together to help children and their families.”