Understanding Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs

Understanding Multi-Agency
Safeguarding Hubs
What is a MASH?
MASH is the forum for different agencies to work together in a common way
across London
The MASH brings together a core membership which includes Children’s Social
Care, Police, Probation, Mental Health, Education, Housing, Youth Offending Service
and Health. These agencies are key components to the process which must
encourage them to share fully, and to build bridges to key decision makers e.g. Head
The aim of the MASH is Prevention - to identify risk and harm to allow timely and
appropriate interventions
The MASH provides a co-location which allows the tension between privacy and
sharing information to be undertaken safely and is seen as a key tool to building
strong partnership work to identify vulnerable children earlier.
The MASH provides a common process, which is adapted to fit locally, to allow
clarity on sharing within and between boroughs
The MASH will allow for the system to link into Adult services
Essential Criteria for a Mash
There are five core elements that must be included:
1. All notifications relating to safeguarding and promoting the
welfare of children go through the hub
2. Co-location of professionals from core agencies
3. The hub is fire walled, keeping MASH activity confidential and
separate from operational activity
4. An agreed process for analysing and assessing risk, based on
the fullest information picture and dissemination of a suitable
information product to the most appropriate agency for
necessary action
5. A process to identify those vulnerable or at risk of emerging
harm through research and analysis
Barnet Children’s Social Care
MASH structure chart
• Erica Ferrari: Service Manager, Children’s Assessment Service
(MASH lead)
• Jackie Stroud: MASH Team Manager, Children Social Care. One
additional team manager to be appointed on a temporary basis
• Experienced Social workers x 2
Social Work Assistants (Researchers) X 4.6
• Duty Support Officers x 4.6
BARNET MASH Phase 1,2 & 3
• Phase 1 is operating in Building 4,NLBP. Police
Sergeant from the Public Protection Desk, Duty team
administrator & Social Worker co-located to process
Merlins with Team Manager oversight.
• Phase 2, on target to go by the end of July. All agencies
will be co-located in the MASH suite situated on the
ground floor of Building 2, North London Business Park.
• Phase 3, will include vulnerable adults. Discussions to
take this forward will begin following the launch of Phase
2. The MASH suite of rooms includes additional capacity
to accommodate professionals from adult services for
Phase 3.
Day to Day Operation
• The Children Social Care Team Manager for MASH will
have day to day management responsibility for the
MASH. However line management arrangements do not
change for partner agencies
• Each agency will be able to access their own systems in
the MASH in order to share information. In Barnet
discussion is in progress to agree a system whereby
several agencies such as Children Social Care & the
Police will be able to check the front page of partner
agency systems to establish if a family is known.
Partners in the BARNET MASH
To be a MASH, it is a requirement that, as a minimum, the following
partners are co-located: Children Social Care, Police, Health,
Education ,Probation, Housing & Youth Offending.
Barnet MASH will have access to all these partner systems, direct
access to duty lines and a daily/ weekly presence of dedicated
professionals from each agency.
In addition Barnet MASH will have representation in the MASH from
Barnet’s Early Intervention Services (CAF, IFF, DV project), cahms,
Adult Social Care, Adult Mental Health & Drugs & Alcohol services and
the Voluntary Sector.
How will the MASH process
work in Barnet?
• Single point of referral for all concerns regarding children & young
people to children social care including the disabled children’s team,
hospital team, early intervention services, YOS court list & TYS.
• Initial screening by Duty Support Officer. If child / family known, sent
to allocated social worker
• If not an open case a new contact will be recorded
• Experienced social worker will give an initial BRAG rating in
accordance with the MASH risk threshold document & attached time
scales for action
• Social Work Assistants will research appropriate cases
• MASH manager & PPD police sergeant oversee and are
responsible for the MASH process, meetings & outcome
determination. They can change the BRAG rating at any point
dependent on information received.
Guide to BRAG ratings
• RED: Child or YP appears to be at risk of immediate/ or
serious harm. S47 enquiry likely. Action: As soon as possible
but within 4 hours. Referred to CAIT & CSC duty team
• AMBER: Child or YP at risk of harm, no immediate urgent
action. S47 investigation possible but more likely s17. Action:
As soon as possible but within 24 hours
• GREEN: Concerns about the well being of a child or YP,
which if not addressed may lead to poor outcomes. May be
s17 or a CAF. Action: ASAP but within 2 working days
• BLUE: Children with no additional needs & whose
developmental needs are met by universal services but who
may benefit form single agency support. Action: same day, no
checks required
MASH process:
(See separate
Check protocol
Other local
Open social care case:
details sent to case
Check eCAF
New case
created on
Initial screening
on whether to
BRAG rate
Review and
summary of
making final
BRAG rating
and info
How will the MASH make a
• There is continuing theme of repeat identification in Serious Case
Reviews regarding lack of communication & information sharing
between agencies.
• MASH will seek to overcome these failings by bringing professionals
together in an environment where information can be shared fully &
safely with all professional taking joint responsibility for risk
• The interface between professionals from partner agencies will
facilitate the development of professional relationships & dialogue,
provide support, collaborative working and confidence to
understand, discuss & challenge decisions.
• Having one ‘front door’ for all concerns about vulnerable children
and young people will ensure simplicity and clarity for referrers.
Action following referrals are determined following discussion with
all relevant agencies & fed back to the referrer.

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