A new umbrella partnership has been set up to coordinate and manage safeguarding concerns regarding children and young people in Jersey.
The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is made up of representatives from a number of States' departments and other agencies each of whom have responsibility to support vulnerable children and young people in the community. MASH provides a single contact point for members of the public, families or professionals to discuss concerns that they may have.
The MASH brings different agencies together in one place, ensuring that information is shared as early as possible and responses are timely and coordinated. A new joint MASH database will ensure that information is collected to allow Jersey to target its support to where it is needed most to safeguard all children and young people.
The setting-up of the MASH in Jersey follows a number of successful launches in different parts of the UK, including a pilot model in Devon and subsequent initiatives in Staffordshire, Norfolk and Birmingham, as well as some London Boroughs.
The Jersey MASH will involve:
States of Jersey Police
Health and Social Services / The Children's Service
Education, Sport and Culture
Family Nursing and Home Care
Outside of this main core there are key links to ˜virtual partners' such as Housing and the Probation and After-Care Service. It is anticipated that the MASH will grow to provide a hub for Adult Safeguarding in the future.
"Launching the MASH will enable agencies to act quickly in a co-ordinated and consistent way ensuring that vulnerable children and young people are kept safe, said Sean Pontin, Head of Children's Social Work. "Earlier, more informed decisions will be made about what support can be offered or action might be needed on the most urgent cases.
"Jersey already benefits from excellent multi-agency working but coming together in the same place and sharing information more quickly will help the Island respond to and understand the needs of our children and young people much better
The establishment of the MASH has been supported by Jersey's Joint Safeguarding Partnership Board.
"The Safeguarding Partnership Board fully endorses the establishment of a local MASH, said the Board's Independent Chair, Glenys Johnston. "This is an encouraging development and shows the Island's continuing commitment to safeguarding its children.
Deputy Anne Pryke, Minister for Health & Social Services and Chair of the Children's Policy Group will formally open the MASH at its base at The Bridge on Friday 20 September at 3.15pm. Deputy Pryke will be joined by key partners and the Ministers for Home Affairs and Education, Sport & Culture. Also attending will be Nigel Boulton the designer of, and UK National Advisor on, MASH.
MASH staff are available to take enquiries made by telephone to 449213 or by email: enquiries-MASH@gov.je
. Working hours are 8.30am- 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am- 4.30pm on Friday.
An out-of-hours service is also available: the duty social worker can be reached by contacting either the Police on 612612, or via the Hospital Switchboard on 442000.