About the MASH
The MASH will deal with new safeguarding concerns, where someone is concerned about the safety or well-being of a child or adult, or thinks they might be at risk of harm. For example, a teacher may believe that one of their pupils is at risk of harm at home, or a doctor may think an older person is being neglected.
How does it work?
The MASH acts as the first point of contact, receiving NEW safeguarding concerns or enquiries and collating information from different agencies to build up a picture of the circumstances of a case.
The agencies involved quickly share information on a case and make a swift decision on the most appropriate action needed. Better co-ordination between agencies will also lead to an improved service for children, adults and their families.
The MASH also incorporates the Common Assessment Framework (CAF)/Early Help Duty telephone hotline and the Social Care Consultation telephone hotline providing advice and guidance for professionals with concerns about a child or young person. This will help improve the quality of information provided and reduce the number of inappropriate referrals.
The MASH will replace a range of existing referral points and allow agencies to work together more closely.
What benefits will it bring?
The MASH will bring the following benefits:
- Faster, more co-ordinated and consistent responses to new safeguarding concerns about vulnerable children and young people.
- An improved ‘journey’ for the child or adult with a greater emphasis on early intervention and better informed services provided at the right time.
- Greater ability to identify potential vulnerability, enabling more preventative action to be taken, dealing with cases before they escalate.
- A more straightforward and responsive process for the professional or member of the public raising a concern, with clear guidance and support.
- Closer partnership working, clearer accountability and less duplication of effort.
- A reduction in the number of children and adults inappropriately accessing services from social care, the Police and others.
- A reduction in the number of inappropriate referrals and re-referrals