THE need for and efficiency of the Thurrock Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) became clear at the end of September – a year after its launch.
The MASH received a total of 6,602 enquiries about children’s safety between September 2014 and 2015 – over 18 a day on average.
Cllr Bukky Okunade, Thurrock Council’s portfolio holder for children’s services, said: “Our MASH wasn’t the first in the country but it is still one of just a few yet I believe it is the way forward.
“Having a dedicated room where representatives from all the various agencies involved in safeguarding children sit together and can literally talk together and share information together has to be sensible.
“As well as the wide range of council departments there – children’s social care, adult social care, the troubled families team, the Housing department, Early Offer of Help services, Youth Offending, substance misuse; domestic violence; and education – there are people from Essex Police, health, and Probation too.
“This has to speed and improve decision-making making our children’s lives better and safer.”
Many enquiries were dealt with by appropriate advice and guidance being offered.
The MASH has developed a first-response worker role to offer consultation, advice and guidance to professionals and members of the public. The new role has strengthened the MASH’s ability to signpost people to the most appropriate sources of help and support.
If people have any concerns about children they should contact the MASH on 01375 652802.