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Safeguarding initiative for vulnerable youngsters
A SAFEGUARDING initiative is being launched to improve communication between groups responsible for helping vulnerable children in Darlington.
The MASH - Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub – is expected to start in April to improve information sharing and help agencies work together more effectively to agree on the type of support needed for vulnerable families.
An overview report prepared by Coun Cyndi Hughes, Darlington Council's cabinet member for children and young people, outlines the initiative and will be presented at Thursday’s full council meeting.
It reveals that by the end of December 2012, 107 children in Darlington were on a child protection plan and out of these, 72 per cent were due to neglect, 18 per cent because of emotional abuse, nine per cent for physical abuse, and one per cent as a result of sexual abuse.
The report states that over the last quarter there has been a significant increase in alcohol and drug use as the reasons behind why children in Darlington are being placed on protection plans.
Dental health is also highlighted as a problem among Darlington’s youngsters, particularly in the most deprived areas of town, and Coun Hughes reported hearing instances of young children needing most of their teeth removed due to the extent of their dental problems.