Launch of The London Child Sexual Exploitation Operating Protocol 2nd Edition
On Wednesday 18th March 2015 the Pan London Child Sexual Exploitation Protocol 2nd Edition received its public launch. This revised protocol has been further developed since being launched on Monday 3rd February 2014. It sets out how agencies will identify and address CSE: providing a standard and consistent response across London. Three key signatures to this document are; the MPS, London Children's Safeguarding Board and the Chair of the Local Safeguarding Children's Boards.
The Protocol sets out the procedures for safeguarding and protecting the welfare of children from child sexual exploitation. It sets out how through our partnerships we assess, challenge and provide an enhanced, effective service to reduce the harm and threats posed to children and young people from Child Sexual Exploitation.
To identify those children at risk of being sexually exploited.
To work collaboratively to ensure the safeguarding and welfare of children and young people who are being, or are at risk of being, sexually exploited.
To provide timely and effective interventions with children and families to safeguard those vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
To apply pro-active problem solving to address the risks associated with victims, perpetrators and locations and ensure the safeguarding and welfare of children and young people who are or may be at risk from sexual exploitation.
To take action against those intent on abusing and exploiting children and young people by prosecuting and disrupting perpetrators.
To raise awareness and provide preventative education for the welfare of children and young people who are, or may be, sexually exploited
2014 London Children's Safeguarding Conference
Full programme and presentations for the 2014 London Safeguarding Children Board's annual conference on Monday 8 December can be found at http://www.londonscb.gov.uk/diary/2014_safeguarding_londons_children_conference/
Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation: A Study of Current Practice in London
In autumn 2013, London Councils and the London Safeguarding Children Board commissioned a team of researchers from the University of Bedfordshire to map current responses to child sexual exploitation (CSE) across London. The study was conducted in October/November 2013. The findings are drawn from an in-depth quantitative survey (completed by 30 London boroughs and local safeguarding children boards) and eight semi-structured interviews with statutory and voluntary sector providers.
The report provides a snapshot of current responses to CSE across London, in relation to:
• Local scoping of the issue;
• Local policies and procedures;
• Training and awareness raising;
• Identification and early intervention (re. victims and perpetrators);
• Responding to cases of CSE (re. victims and perpetrators); and
• Overarching reflections on progress and challenges.
Although there is still much progress to be made, the report encouragingly demonstrates that significant work is underway within this field, with pertinent learning emerging from a number of different boroughs. Please follow the link below to download copies of the full report and an executive summary highlighting the main findings:
Mash having a positive impact on child protection in London
The turnaround time for child protection cases judged as high or complex needs has almost halved in some areas since the London multi agency safeguarding hub (MASH) programme began in 2011, according to a new academic report from the University of Greenwich for London Councils.
A MASH co-locates a whole range of agencies, including police, local authority children’s social care, education, probation and health staff, to share information and spot emerging problems early, potentially saving lives. The MASH approach was first introduced by Devon County Council and has since been adopted across much of the UK, with London being one of the most comprehensive roll outs so far.
This first independent report into the effectiveness of MASH was commissioned across five local authority areas by the London Safeguarding Children Board (London SCB) and London Councils. It found that the mean turnaround time for cases initially assessed as level 3 (high or complex needs) nearly halved in some areas, from 2.5 days to just over 1.25 days. The turnaround time for referrals initially assessed as level 2 (low to vulnerable) halved from more than four and a half days to less than two and half days.
Cheryl Coppell, Chair of London Safeguarding Children Board, said: “The Mash approach has the potential to address some of the issues highlighted in serious case reviews. All the evidence in this report, the first of its kind, suggests that working in this way improves communication and breaks down professional boundaries, which can sometimes act as a barrier to information sharing.
Ian Smith, Director of Children’s Social Care in Lewisham, one of the boroughs sampled in the report, said:
“In Lewisham we have been particularly pleased with how well all the professionals have worked together to share information promptly so we can make appropriate decisions to provide the right support to children and their families. On some occasions it is only through the information that was gathered as the result of the MASH that enabled us to identify that children could be at risk of significant harm and take appropriate action to safeguard them. There is no doubt that MASH is helping us protect children.”
“Among the more significant findings is a reduction in turnaround time of referrals to safeguarding services at all levels of risk. This is a quantifiable improvement that makes children safer and is very encouraging.”
“London is an excellent example of how the model can significantly improve outcomes, with a Mash up and running in boroughs and the remaining areas set to follow.”
The report states, ‘One of the particularly beneficial impacts of the Mash on services to children was in the identification of children who would not have come to notice previously, but were now receiving a service.’
MASH final report
Making Mash Fit for London
The London MASH partnership held a MASH conference on Wednesday 13 November 2013. Agenda and presentations for the day can be found at http://www.londonscb.gov.uk/mash/.
Updated MASH information sharing advice issued
In September 2013, The London Safeguarding Children Board issued a revised MASH Information Sharing Agreement for local use. This has been updated to include specific advice around consent. The Board also issued a new Information Sharing Guidance booklet, aimed at practitioners and managers working in a multi-agency safeguarding hub. Both these documents are available to download via the links below:
Please see http://www.londonscb.gov.uk/mash/ for further information on MASH, including a range of helpful documents and the latest rollout schedule.