This blog was written by Cathal Ryan, Service Manager at Hackney’s Children and Families Service
Hackney has created an Extra-Familial Risk Panel (EFRP) which has replaced MAP meetings for Child Sexual Exploitation and Harmful Sexual Behaviour as well as Hackney's Pre-MASE meeting and High Risk Case Forum. The EFRP reviews cases of young people (as individuals or in groups) at risk of causing or experiencing harm outside the home and takes action to address the risk.
The weekly EFRP has been running since 14th November 2018 and has already received positive feedback from social workers and partner agency professionals:
- Social workers like that the Panel hears and reviews all cases previously held under the MAP Meeting processes: cases will be less prone to drift, practitioner time is freed from having to schedule MAP meetings themselves and a Panel with agency decision-makers around the table can agree actions quickly to protect vulnerable young people.
- Partner agencies and Children and Families Service staff have already experienced the benefit to intelligence gathering and risk mapping provided by having a weekly forum where all extra-familial risk cases are discussed by the same core agency representatives. Connections between individual and groups of young people are easily identified and borne in mind when taking action on cases.
- The whole-system nature of the Panel's consideration of risk identifies vulnerabilities not only of the young people under discussion but also the contexts in which they live. For example,where there are issues with how a school is addressing a culture of girls being harassed, targeted action is agreed at the EFRP to address these thus improving the safety of all pupils at the school.
The EFRP process has been adapting and improving as the weeks have progressed e.g. modifying the EFRP referral form, clarifying core and secondary membership of key agencies, improving how information is received into and shared out from the EFRP to partner agencies. The EFRP system and its functioning will be formally reviewed in February 2019 and findings will be shared with Hackney MASE.