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Ofsted praises MASH teams

Children's services in Waltham Forest were previously rated as "requires improvement" but have now been praised for their multi-agency safeguarding hubs (Mash), which deal with child protection and children in need concerns.  Their Mash was found to offer timely responses to referrals and since the inspectorate's last visit in 2014, when children's services were rated "requires improvement" . The team now includes professionals from children's social care, early help services, health, education, police, probation, housing, youth offending and London Victim Support. However, inspectors said they are concerned that recent changes to how cases are recorded electronically has led to inaccuracies, although they note this is being looked at by senior managers.

Barking and Dagenham Mash was found to benefit from a stable workforce, timely information sharing between partners and consistency in applying thresholds for intervention and support. Inspectors said that, in all cases they looked at, the council's response was appropriate, including offers of early help to families and children. “Partners are well engaged, which ensures timely information sharing, the consistent application of thresholds and proportionate responses for children and their families who need help and support,"