Safeguarding is everybody’s business and often includes input and support from a wide range of partnerships and organisations – which by design can create a number of information sharing opportunities and issues.

Here at the Centre we have been involved in a number of information sharing projects with both local places and national government departments which focus on safeguarding and the role it can play, both good and bad, to help keep vulnerable children, adults and families safe. 

Multi-agency safeguarding hubs
In response to a number of high profile child safeguarding cases in recent years, the case for developing multi-agency intelligence sharing capacity in local places has never been stronger. Local places across the country are responding in different ways, developing sharing approaches that are appropriate to local requirements. Therefore there is no ‘one size fits all’ prescription for a multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH), just as there is not one uniform set of needs of vulnerable adults and children in a local place.

The guiding principle under which a MASH model operates is that, by sharing information immediately between a range of agencies, more appropriate decisions can be made quickly about referred cases. This timely and collaborative way of working benefits families who then receive support from the most suitable organisations, which can in turn also prevent an escalation of need.

Our work with MASH models across the country has uncovered more about the role of information sharing in the development and operation of a MASH. The materials available to download below offer further insight into what local places we have been working with have learnt through the development of a MASH.

Information sharing to protect vulnerable children and families

There is a continuous drive by several central Government departments, including the Home Office (HO) and the Department for Education (DfE), to improve the way children and vulnerable families are protected. Information sharing is often highlighted within Serious Case Reviews (SCRs) as an area of concern for multi-agency partnerships. By reflecting on current information sharing practice and learning from past lessons, partners can help to prevent a family reaching the point of crisis, improving outcomes for vulnerable people.

We have been supporting the DfE to look in more detail at how information sharing can be used more effectively to protect vulnerable children and families. This included a number of roadshows with front line practitioners taking pace around the country to research the current information sharing issues they experience when working with partners on safeguarding issues. 

The results of this were written up in to a case study which includes a number of recommendations from the Centre which were considered by senior representative from across government at a recent round table event.  You can download the full report, round table report and the regional roadshow case studies from this work below:

Regional roadshow reports:

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