Contact Swindon - The front door for the Council’s children’s social care services

What do MASH do?

When someone reports a concern to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) team they make assessment of the risk to the child and make a decision on what to do to best protect that child.

To make an informed decision the team share and gather information from partner agencies, children and their families. The most appropriate intervention is agreed in response to the child or young person’s identified needs.

Information received about children who are already in the social care system will be directed to their social worker.

How do the MASH carry out their work?

An enquiry is created when information is received about a child or family. The purpose of the MASH enquiry is to gather information from agencies within the MASH (police, health, social care and early help) and external agencies, such as probation or schools.

In most cases the team speak to parents, professionals working with the child and family. In some cases they will speak to the child or young person themselves, to make a decision about what happens next.

It is expected that professionals will advise parents if they are making a referral to MASH, and will share a copy of the completed referral with the family. This is unless doing so would place the child at risk of significant harm. MASH are happy to give advice to professionals about consent.

MASH will ask parent’s permission to speak to other agencies in most cases unless doing so may place the child at risk.

The MASH enquiry will determine the appropriate course of action which could include a referral to children’s social care or early help services if the threshold for social care involvement is not met.

Any concerns reported to MASH are screened by a social care lead decision maker and a decision will be made within four hours for the most urgent concerns however, for children and families assessed as having lower level concerns, we aim to make a decision about further action within three days.

The child, family and referrer will be informed in writing of the outcome of the MASH enquiry. 

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