Join up data to help safeguarding professionals make more informed decisions
The responsibility to safeguard vulnerable people lies with councils and a range of safeguarding partners. Too often vulnerability is identified too late.
Limited data sharing between organisations makes it hard to identify people who need support before they hit a crisis. It’s also hard to see if they are already known to those in the wider safeguarding community.
Social workers sometimes have incomplete information which can change decisions and outcomes. They waste time chasing information, which they would prefer to spend with the family.
We know that prevention is critical to improve safeguarding. We also know that data must be more effectively shared across agencies if we are to better protect vulnerable people and reduce the potential of people falling into the social care system. This is a big challenge.
It's really started that operational conversation around how we could change our support, where could we really intervene earlier.
MAST is a digital tool that links data across Adults, Childrens, Health, Fire and Police services on a daily basis. It can proactively identify where there are multiple contacts with the same individual, household, and location to support the professional judgement of frontline staff.
The information in MAST makes it easier to have conversations with practitioners from other services, which means that social workers can better support vulnerable people.
Aims of MAST
28 matches were made across 12 addresses over three months between the fire service and families known to children’s services. At least two of these matches, one with multiple incidents at the same address, were not known to Children's services. This alone justifies the value of the project.
We’ve been interested in ways of doing this better for ten years. It’s great that it’s finally happening.