What is a MASH?
A Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is a centre which brings together agencies (and their information) in order to identify risks to children at the earliest possible point and respond with the most effective interventions.
MASH allows the multi-agency safeguarding team to cary out a joint confidential screening, research and referral of vulnerable children. Agencies work together to ensure vulnerable children are identified and properly cared for and protected.
What is the purpose of a MASH?
The purpose of the MASH is to make the best decisions which will keep children safe. This will in turn ensure timely and necessary interventions, improving the outcomes for vulnerable children.
What agencies are in the MASH?
- Children’s Social care
- Youth Offending Service
How will it work?
Concerns relating to the safeguarding or welfare of a child will be considered by the MASH screening team including self referrals, multi-agency referrals, a referral from the Police, another local authority or an anonymous referral.
Using an agreed set of criteria, the Head of the MASH will decide whether the case would benefit from going through the MASH.
Each MASH case is assigned to a social worker. The social worker gathers any information available about the child/family concerned from their colleagues in the multi-agency team. The information is collected from all the partner agencies within the timescales set by the Head of the MASH. The most urgent cases will be turned around within four hours.
All information is collated by the social worker who reviews and analyses the information received from partner agencies and writes a summary of that information on a MASH record. The social worker recommends what further action should be taken.
What happens next?
The Head of the MASH reviews the MASH record and makes a decision as to the most appropriate action to take in relation to the case. Outcomes will include:
- Case raises serious concerns or identifies complex needs and is passed to the Child Protection and Assessment team (CPAT)
- Case does not raise serious concerns but it is assessed that the family
would benefit from some support from the Early Intervention and Family Support Service
- The case has identified a child with additional needs which will be assessed and addressed through a Common Assessment Framework (CAF)
- The case is referred to a partner agency for a single agency response
- Some cases raise no concerns and require no further action
What should you do if you are concerned about a child?
If you have a concern about the welfare or safety of a child you should contact the Redbridge MASH.