8. Action to be taken by employees if they feel that a child, young person or vulnerable adult is at risk
- In most working circumstances within the council it is unlikely that employees will be in a position to assess whether or not a child has been abused. However, in certain areas, there is closer working with children and it is possible that abuse may be suspected. In general terms employees should be alert to any suspicion of abuse and raise concerns with their line manager. If you are concerned about a child or young person in Devon and want to speak to someone contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0345 155 1071 or firstname.lastname@example.org and give as much information as you can.
- Councillors and line managers should liaise with the head of housing or deputy chief executive if there is suspicion of child abuse which is to be formally referred. We have MASH referral forms to be completed when we make a referral (sample attached Annex 2). All safeguarding and child protection enquiries in Devon now go through the MASH. The MASH is staffed with professionals from different agencies including, police, probation, fire, ambulance, health, education and social care. These professionals share information to:
- identify instances of harm early on
- put in place interventions to prevent further harm.
- If an employee or member suspects another employee or Member of inappropriate behaviour towards a child, young person or vulnerable adult, it should be reported immediately to the line manager (employees), chief executive and or deputy chief executive (councillors). The council has ‘whistle blowing’ arrangements in place.