A new initiative aimed at speeding up decision-making around interventions in child protection cases will be launched in April.
The multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) brings professionals from a number of agencies together in one place.
By physically locating staff from several agencies together, including police, social care, probation, mental health, youth offending and housing, with access to their respective data systems, the MASH will put in place a multi agency system which will reduce delays in information gathering and improve the quality and speed of decision-making.
It means that when a concern is raised about a child, information can be shared sooner, and decisions made quicker.
Councillor Peter Robbins, Lambeth Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “The introduction of MASH bolsters the borough’s aim to protect children from harm and supports our objective to give every child the best possible start in life.
“By putting professionals from different agencies in one place, referrals can be investigated and decisions made sooner, resulting in better outcomes for potentially vulnerable children.”
Currently, agencies looking into contacts or referrals, will contact other relevant agencies seeking information to substantiate a concern to establish whether further action is necessary, which could be time consuming.
Reviews of serious cases where children have died or been seriously harmed constantly point to a failure by agencies to share information decisively in situations where, in hindsight, children were at risk.