South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures
South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures

1.3.2 Wiltshire Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

The Wiltshire Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is a service which builds upon existing partnership work in Wiltshire. It is designed to help professionals who are working with vulnerable people by providing them with a collated picture of the individual and family.

It will involve different agencies working together in the same location and sharing information to provide a more co-ordinated, timely and proportionate response to welfare and safeguarding concerns.

It is the single point of contact for all safeguarding concerns regarding children and young people in Wiltshire. It brings together professionals from services that have contact with children, young people and families, and makes the best possible use of their combined knowledge to keep children safe from harm.

Local and national evidence clearly shows that sharing information is vital to safeguard and promoting the welfare of vulnerable children.

This chapter was added to the manual in June 2014.


Contents

  1. MASH Aim
  2. MASH Objectives
  3. MASH Outcome
  4. Core Partners
  5. How the MASH Process Works


1. MASH Aim

The vision for the Wiltshire MASH is to initially provide a central point of contact for public and professionals for children’s safeguarding concerns.


2. MASH Objectives

The co-located team of professionals from the core agencies of children’s social care, the police and community health services will deliver an integrated service, including the provision of information, advice and signposting to appropriate services. It will utilise agreed processes for analysing and assessing risk, based on the fullest information known across agencies, to determine if the child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. It will also maintain a confidential record system of activity and disseminate suitable information to the area teams in children’s social care or other agencies for action.


3. MASH Outcome

Better safeguarding decision making for vulnerable children, young people and their families through a multi agency integrated approach to improve the protection and service delivery to the families.

The MASH is made up of a MASH Service Manager, Assistant Team Managers, Information Officers, Social Workers, Minute Takers and a number of staff from different teams and agencies.


4. Core Partners

  • Children’s Social Care;
  • Police;
  • Health;
  • Education.

The MASH Service Manager co-ordinates staff within the MASH, and has the final say in all safeguarding decisions.

Core partners are co-located in a secure office in County Hall, Trowbridge while other partner agencies will be involved on a case by case basis and are connected remotely through telephone and video conference facilities.


5. How the MASH Process Works

When the MASH receives a contact, the MASH information officers will screen the referrals with oversight from a social worker. They will understand the nature of the call and gather information to be able to appropriately signpost to the most appropriate service.

If there is an allocated social worker, they are considered to be the best person to support the child, so the case will be referred directly to them.

If there is no social worker, then the MASH information officers and social workers will assess the level of risk and decide on the course of action to be taken. It may be that further information is required from agencies to inform whether the referral relates to a child in need or child protection concern.

The MASH managers will use the collected information to decide the best response to meet the child’s needs. This may be:

  • A strategy discussion as there is reasonable cause to suspect a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm;
  • A child in need assessment is required through a single assessment;
  • A recommendation for a Common Assessment Framework to be completed by a lead professional; or
  • Sign posting as required.

The service that receives the case will receive a summary of any appropriate information gathered by the MASH.

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