Harrow Council’s Children’s Services draw more global plaudits

Jenny Mikakos visits Harrow's MASH team

Jenny Mikakos visits Harrow's MASH team

Harrow Council is fast becoming world-famous for its “pioneering” work with children, as an Australian government minister became the latest visitor to praise its services.

Just a week after senior Bulgarian ministers visited The Firs respite unit, to learn how they could replicate the service back home, Children’s minister Jenny Mikakos was in the Civic Centre to see how Harrow Council’s child protection work could help her Early Childhood Reform Plan in Victoria. She spoke to staff at the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) about how their advances in information-sharing are helping to prevent abuse by identifying children at risk.

Cllr Christine Robson, Children, Young People and Schools Portfolio Holder, said: “We took great pride in showing Ms Mikakos our fantastic MASH unit. The team do amazing work keeping children safe, which is our priority in Harrow - when someone wants to come all the way from Australia to see your work in action, you know you’re doing it right.”

After her visit, the Australian Minister said it was great to experience to see the “pioneering” unit in Harrow and praised its “strong culture of partnership between all the relevant agencies”.

Chief Inspector Dawn Hargadon said: "The partnership between the Police and other partner agencies is strong within the MASH and really makes a difference to the protection of the most vulnerable children in Harrow.”

This year Harrow became one of only a quarter of councils whose Children’s Services were rated Good or better by Ofsted, who commended the council for reducing risk and improving outcomes for children.

On her visit, Ms Mikakos met Harrow Mayor Cllr Margaret Davine, Leader Cllr Sachin Shah, Cllr Christine Robson, Corporate Director for People’s Services Chris Spencer, Divisional Director for Children and Young People’s Services Paul Hewitt, Metropolitan Police Chief Insp Dawn Hargadon and Head of Children’s Access Parmjit Chahal.

Jenny Mikakos