Governor visits MASH offices

| 07/07/2019 | 0 Comments
CNS Local Life
Governor Martyn Roper (second from right) with (L-R) Rayle Roberts and Paulinda Mendoza-Williams of DCFS, Tiffany Myles of MASH and Kevin Ashworth of FSU

(CNS Local Life): Governor Martyn Roper recently visited the offices of the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) as he continues his familiarisation tours around the Cayman Islands. In his first trip to the offices at Anderson Square in George Town, MASH staff briefed him on the sensitive nature of their work.

The unit’s remit encompasses not only child safeguarding referrals but also extends into investigating and prosecuting domestic violence, including elder abuse, stated a press release. MASH employees who met with the governor included the Health Services Authority (HSA) child psychologist, and members of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) and Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) teams.

Paulinda Mendoza Wiliiams, DCFS director, spoke about the need for increased community support in safeguarding children, particularly during the summer holidays. She also explained increased vigilance by border control to recognise and deter child trafficking is also critical during this period, as travel to and from Cayman involves high numbers of children, the release stated. Given the rise in child abuse and domestic violence, MASH management said it recognises “that preventative work with other agencies such as police officers and with the public is a valuable in supporting its role”.

Inspector Kevin Ashworth of the RCIPS Family Support Unit (FSU) also explained the reasons for the increasingly collaborative nature of the unit’s remit and the growing engagement among MASH’s partner agencies and stakeholders, such as the HSA and the Ministry of Education. Closer ties with other agencies help reduce the number of inappropriate referrals and re-referrals, while providing a more consistent response to concerns about children and at risk adults, stated the release.

Governor Roper said of the tour: “It was great to visit the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Unit to meet staff who do essential and challenging work. Our multi-agency approach is leading the way regionally but there are still significant issues to address.

“More success can be achieved by working co-operatively across agencies in order to protect the children of our islands. I was impressed by the commitment and dedication of the staff.”

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