A new child services hub will open at Tower Hamlets Town Hall to improve care for vulnerable children and families.
The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) in Poplar will bring together local services, uniting social workers with staff from the borough’s housing, education, probation and mental health services, the Bart’s NHS trust and the Metropolitan Police.
Tower Hamlets council said that the new hub would allow staff “to share intelligence and work in partnership to inform better decision making on responding to risk and the needs of vulnerable children and families”.
According to statistics from the borough’s commissioning strategic plan, 55 per cent of children in Tower Hamlets are classified as living in poverty. The plan also notes that one in five children under the age of 15 have tried a cigarette, while three in 10 have tried an alcoholic drink.
Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer, Tower Hamlets borough commander, said: “MASH allows the police to respond quicker, with better information to concerns about young people who are at risk, which is one of the most important things the police service does.”
Jane Milligan, Chief Officer of the Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The CCG recognises the importance of information sharing to support the identification of and response to children in Tower Hamlets who are vulnerable. Ensuring health teams are a key partner within the MASH arrangement is vital to its success as is ensuring health information can be shared in a timely way.”
Tower Hamlets already has a multi-agency child safeguarding group and said the hub would build on the group’s success.
Councilor Oliur Rahman, the borough’s cabinet member for children, schools and families, said: “The agencies in Tower Hamlets have a strong record in child protection and this MASH model will make it even stronger.”
Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman said: “Creating this new and improved hub is a great stride forward in making sure all the relevant public agencies are working together as closely as possible for the good of our community.”