Child protection team launched
PUBLISHED: 09:58 17 September 2011
A JOINT child protection investigation team – hailed as one of the first of its kind in the country – has been launched in Hertfordshire.
Operating from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s HQ in WGC, the unit is made up of police officers and social workers.
With greater sharing of information and resources, the new team will be able to respond swiftly and effectively to allegations of child abuse, which includes physical and sexual assault as well as cases of neglect.
It is anticipated they will take on up to 50 cases a month.
Specialised joint training will continue to underpin the work of the unit as it settles into day-to-day operations, providing child protection professionals with specific skills to interview vulnerable victims and witnesses.
As part of the development of the service, health professionals will work closely with the team, continuing to promote the multi-agency approach to safeguarding in the county.
Assistant chief constable Chris Miller, who has helped set up the unit, said: “For many years we have wanted to have a joint team operating as one, tackling the complex problems around child abuse investigation.
“The launch of this unit is a watershed in terms of how agencies will work together more closely and dynamically in the future to safeguard one of the most vulnerable groups in our communities.”
County councillor Richard Roberts, lead member for children’s services, said: “Issues surrounding child abuse are treated very seriously by all agencies.
“Our social workers have a good record in dealing with child abuse in Hertfordshire, working closely with other services.”
Cllr Roberts added the unit would reduce bureaucracy and provide a “robust approach” to protecting youngsters in the county.
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