Multi-Agency Child Exploitation (MACE) and Contextual Safeguarding Level 1
What is MACE and Contextual Safeguarding (CS) Level 1?
The Multi-Agency Child Exploitation (MACE) and Contextual Safeguarding (CS) Level 1 process relates to the identification, risk assessment and risk management of those children vulnerable to; Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE), Harmful Sexual Behaviour, (HSB) Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking (MSHT), Missing from Home (MFH), Online Child Exploitation (OCE) and wider Contextual Safeguarding.
If a child is identified by a professional as potentially being at risk of these areas, they should submit a safeguarding referral form to Children and Families, adhering to the usual guidance and practices around consent and information sharing. This will then be received by the Multi-Agency Screening Team (MAST) who consist of professionals from Children’s Social Care (CSC), Early Help, North Yorkshire Police (NYP) and Harrogate District Foundation Trust (HDFT-Health). The appropriate and relevant MAST professionals are involved in the screening of the referral, deciding on the right service to meet the child and their family’s needs. Depending on the outcome of the screening, an allocated worker will work with the child, their family and other professionals who are involved, to identify what risks the child or young person may be exposed to and will then completed a Exploitation Risk Assessment containing the views of all involved.
What happens in the Exploitation Risk Assessment meeting in MAST?
Once completed, the Exploitation Risk Assessment is then sent back to the MAST for a multi-agency view of the risk level and scrutiny regarding the risk management around this child and the contextual safeguarding concerns. It allows partners to offer challenge regarding the risk level and risk management plans for the young person. This case discussion takes place across partners in the MAST team alongside the allocated worker and any other local professionals required. The meeting will result in an agreement as to the risk level which can be one of four outcomes:
High Risk—Evidence that the young person is being exploited (requires review every 4-6 weeks)
Medium Risk—Evidence that the young persons may be being targeted or groomed for exploitation (requires review (every 6 – 8 weeks)
Low Risk—Vulnerability to exploitation (requires review every 8-10 weeks)
No risk status at this time – Exploitation not currently a factor at this time an appears to be age appropriate behaviours (requires re-submission should further concerns emerge).
The Exploitation Risk Assessment will continue to be reviewed in the MAST within the timescales until all partners are confident the risk has been sufficiently reduced to remove any flags. The meetings are held in the MAST team either virtually or at County Hall, Northallerton with options for remote dialling in three times a week (on average 3—4 cases are discussed each day).
The risk assessment and risk management plan will form part of the plan for that child or young person (e.g. Child Protection Plan, Child in Need Plan, Looked After Child Plan or Early Help). It seeks to understand and manage the contextual safeguarding concerns in conjunction with the individual plan for that child. The risk level will be shared across Children and Families, NYP and HDFT).
The MAST may also make recommendations regarding whether the child should be referred into the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) if there is a suspicion that the child has been trafficked or is subject to Modern Slavery. They may also make recommendations about referrals to third sector support provisions for the young person and/or their families/carers.
If during the course of this discussion, there are any specific contextual safeguarding concerns that link the child or young person to any locations that may present a risk of harm, any individuals or groups who may pose a risk by exploitation, these themes will be sent to the MACE Level 2 Co-ordinator for multi-agency problem solving through the Locality MACE Level 2 meeting. Further information about the structure of the MACE Level 2 Locality meetings can be found here. Full details of the MACE Level 1 processes can also be found in the MACE Practice Guidance at www.safeguardingchildren.co.uk/professionals/practice-guidance
How are cases referred into the MACE Level 1
All concerns should be initially be sent through as a Safeguarding referral to Children and Families using the safeguarding referral form.