Governor visits Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub unit

Governor Martyn Roper, second from right, visits the MASH office, in the company of Department of Children and Family Services Deputy Director Rayle Roberts, DCFS Director Paulinda Mendoza-Williams, MASH Manager Tiffany Myles and Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Family Support Unit Inspector Kevin Ashworth.

Governor Martyn Roper says he is impressed by the “commitment and dedication” of police and social workers fighting to protect children in the Cayman Islands.

The Governor visited the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub, which brings together various public agencies to handle sensitive abuse allegations.

The unit’s remit encompasses child safeguarding cases as well as investigating and prosecuting domestic violence, including elder abuse. MASH employees who met with the governor included a child psychologist, police officers and social workers.

In a press release about the visit, Roper said, “It was great to visit the Multi-Agency Safeguarding [Hub] 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 cooperatively across agencies in order to protect the children of our islands. I was impressed by the commitment and dedication of the staff.”

During the governor’s visit, Inspector Kevin Ashworth of the police Family Support Unit briefed the governor on some of the work being done by the unit.

He said 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, according to the release.

Paulinda Mendoza-Williams, director of the Department of Children and Family Services, spoke about the need for increased community support in safeguarding children, particularly during the summer holidays.