Agencies 'working together' to prevent young suicide after teen father-to-be death (From Surrey Comet)
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Agencies in Sutton 'working together' to prevent young suicide after teen father-to-be death Liam Hardy
A multi-agency board has been set up in a bid to stop more youngsters killing or harming themselves in Sutton.
The move follows a serious case review into Sutton Local Safeguarding Children Board (SLSCB) which identified training and communication failures which may have contributed to the death of 14-year-old Liam Hardy.
The expectant father was found hanged in a bedroom at his grandparents house on November 19 last year.
Liam, who lived in Lancaster Way, Worcester Park, died in hospital eight days later.
During a five-day inquest at Croydon Coroners Court, it was heard the teenager would regularly self-harm and threaten to take his own life.
On Friday June 13 Coroner Selena Lynch ruled his death was most likely an accident, stating he was probably unaware of the dangers of tying things around his own neck.
The court also heard social services were aware of Liam, who had displayed complex emotional and behavioural problems throughout his childhood.
Ms Lynch told the court the teenager’s actions leading up to his death were partly a result of his needs not being properly assessed by social and mental healthcare services.
Following Liam’s death a serious case review was carried out into the role of the Sutton Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (SLSCB).
The body oversees the work of agencies such as the police, schools, healthcare services and the council, who deal with children that have been flagged up to social services.
As a result a set of recommendations were made to SLSCB.
The board was advised to establish a range of measures to make sure agencies meet safeguarding standards.
It was also told to review its multi-agency training programme.
In response to the recommendations SLSCB formed the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).
Christine Davies, chair of the Sutton Local Safeguarding Children Board, said: "All of our agencies, such as the council, health services, education, the police, are all working together now in MASH.
"Our information is immediately shared and children’s needs are assessed.
"As soon as a body has a case for serious concern, that concern comes straight into the MASH system.
"If a child is self-harming it stops their needs falling through the net."
SLSCB has also arranged for training to be given to employees in each of the agencies it oversees, so they can find it easier to spot someone who is self-harming.
They then work with the rest of the agencies in MASH to try and prevent the behaviour from continuing.
Ms Davies said: "We are not just talking about a one-off training session here, people across all our agencies have been trained a handful of times in the past year.
"Liam’s death was very sad, and all of the agencies have taken the consequences very seriously indeed."
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