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 decide 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 an Exploitation Risk Assessment containing the views of all involved, this is completed in 10 working days.
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. The meeting will agree a level of risk:
Should a strategy meeting take place following a new or existing referral, it is at this meeting partners agree to a risk status.
NO ADDITIONAL RISK: The child may be vulnerable and in need of support and service intervention, but particular circumstances do not increase the child’s risk of exploitation over and above “normal” adolescent behaviour (Not Adopted/flagged)
LOW: Whilst there is no information or evidence to suggest that the child is being exploited; specific circumstances, situations or vulnerabilities exist AND/OR protective factors are absent that increase the child’s risk of being exploited over and above “normal” adolescent behaviour.
MEDIUM: Information/intelligence and/or a particular situation, incident or set of circumstances leads us to suspect that a child MAY be the victim of exploitation and further work is required to understand the risk involved. (Review date of 6-8 weeks set)
HIGH: Information/intelligence and/or a particular situation, incident or set of circumstances leads us to suspect that a child IS a victim of exploitation OR is in imminent danger of being exploited. (Review date of 4-6 weeks set)
Young people who are given a high or medium risk flag, or children who are in care and have low risk status, will be reviewed within MAST in the MACE and Contextual Safeguarding Level 1 meeting process. Where a low risk level is decided, reviews will take place within that child’s plan ensuring that the specialist social worker is present.
As children in care do not have multi-agency meetings within frequency timescales of exploitation meeting frequency, child who are in care with low risk status should be reviewed within the MACE Level 1 meetings held in the MAST
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.