ABUSED children in the city will be better protected now different agencies are together in a single room.
That is according to Coventry City Council following the launch of a Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) – an idea prompted by the murder of Daniel Pelka in 2012.
A Serious Case Review into the four-year-old’s death criticised several organisations for failing to work together.
As a result, staff from social care, the NHS, education, the police and probation will now be housed under the same roof.
The Council says it will make it easier to gather and examine information on youngsters at risk of harm, resulting in quicker and more effective action.
Coun Ed Ruane, Cabinet Member responsible for Children and Young Peoples’ Social Care, said: “Every Serious Case Review I have ever read anywhere in the country has always seemed to have ‘better communication between partner organisations’ in the recommendations and this will address that.
“The creation of the MASH was also a priority in our Ofsted Improvement Plan and is a key way we will improve the way children are safeguarded in our city.”
Daniel – who would have turned seven this year – was killed by his mother and step-father in March 2012 after agencies failed to spot the sickening abuse he was suffering. The Holbrooks schoolboy’s murder sparked a crisis in the children’s services department.
Senior figures from the police, the NHS and probation service in the city have all welcomed the creation of the safeguarding hub.
DCI Dean Young, from the Coventry Public Protection Unit at West Midlands Police, described it as a behind-the-scenes change which will improve decision-making when dealing with child protection referrals.
He said:“The MASH will not change your individual or organisational role in safeguarding – safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and it is important we realise we all have a part to play.
“But it will provide professionals with a greater confidence when making safeguarding decisions as these will be informed by a complete picture and not just an organisational one.”
Nadine Baxendale, from the city’s National Probation Service delivery unit, added: “Home Office evaluation has found that a MASH provides a more accurate assessment of risk and need ensuring that safeguarding decisions are based on coordinated, sufficient, accurate and timely intelligence.
“In other areas this improvement in intelligence has led to a reduction in repeat referrals and an improved identification of risk which has allowed for earlier interventions. I am confident this is what will happen in Coventry.”
Four-year-old Daniel Pelka. (s)
The Daniel Pelka memorial in Holbrooks. 47.013.002.cov.jm5