A six-month pilot phase is underway of the Island’s first ever Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).
The MASH is a co-located, multi-agency and multi-disciplinary team that brings together professionals from services that have contact with children and young people of the Island who may be at risk of harm. Its purpose is to improve outcomes for them by ensuring there is a comprehensive and joined-up response to reducing the risk of harm, with professionals able to make the best possible use of their combined knowledge to ensure that children and young people are safe.
Some of the agencies represented in the MASH include Manx Care’s Children’s Social Care and Adult Social Work teams, its Early Help team, broader Health professionals from across Manx Care including its Safeguarding team, and officers from Isle of Man Constabulary. The new MASH arrangement will strengthen the relationships between all partner agencies, ensure there is joint responsibility for all safeguarding matters and, thanks to the co-location of teams, will improve knowledge and insight into some of the safeguarding themes and issues arising across the Island.
Establishment of the MASH has been led by Superintendent Steve Maddocks from IOM Constabulary, Julie Gibney, Manx Care’s Assistant Director of Children’s and Families Services, and Terri Banks, Manx Care’s Head of Safeguarding, with support from their respective teams. During the pilot phase, the MASH team will be based at Murray House in Douglas, home to Manx Care’s Integrated Social Care Services division.
Teresa Cope, Manx Care’s Chief Executive, commented:
'When professional, multi-disciplinary agencies work together to share information about children, young people and their families, it supports harm reduction and ensures there is better decision-making around a child’s welfare and safety. This is a six-month pilot initially in order for us to work with our partners to make sure the model we are embedding fits the needs of children, young people and their families across the Isle of Man. This is an incredibly positive step forward and I would like to thank everyone who has worked so diligently over the last year to make this happen.'
Isle of Man Chief Constable Russ Foster, KPM, added:
'Having worked within a MASH arrangement during my time in the UK, I have seen for myself the clear benefits to the co-location of professional agencies when it comes to safeguarding matters. As a Police force we are committed to protecting vulnerable people and reducing harm in our communities across the Island, with early intervention and partnership working key to this. I look forward to seeing the progress that the MASH team makes over the next six months whilst in pilot phase, and am confident this will make a significant difference to safeguarding arrangements for children and young people living on the Isle of Man.'
The MASH will operate between 9am and 5:30pm during Monday to Thursday, and between 9am and 5pm on a Friday. The team can be contacted via email at childcarereferrals.DHSC@gov.im or via phone at +44 1624 686179.