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Lewisham Safeguarding Children Board

Lewisham Safeguarding Children Board

Email: safeguardingboard@lewisham.gov.uk

Tel: 020 8314 3396

Early Help & the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

Parental Consent

The MASH is a consent-based model. Professionals dealing with suspected child neglect, abuse or need for support, will endeavour to work in partnership with parents. This means the professional will:

  • be open and honest with parents about the concerns they have about a child or children
  • explain to parents, before making a referral, how the MASH team will share information about the child and family to get the best possible picture about the child’s circumstances.

If the referring professional believes that seeking consent for sharing information with the MASH would place a child at further risk of harm or cause unnecessary delay, they may refer the child without parental consent, but must explain why this is the case. If in doubt please contact the MASH on 020 8314 6660 for further discussion.

The Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) provides a single point of access for all professionals to report safeguarding concerns to children’s social care. Professionals can also request commissioned targeted family support through the multi-agency early help panel.

For urgent child protection referrals, contact the MASH on 020 8314 9181. If you think a child or young person may be in immediate danger, call 999 or contact your local police on 101.

Making a MASH request

If, as a professional, you have safeguarding concerns or are requesting commissioned family support for targeted early help, you can use the online MASH request form or the MASH Referral Form - Word Version, after reading the below information.

Please note that residents and other members of the public can still make referrals in person or over the phone.

All requests that come through the MASH will be triaged by the multi-agency team and you may be contacted by a professional representing your agency to discuss your request.

Before you make a request

The following information will help you determine if you need to make a MASH request, and which part of the MASH request form you need to use:

  • Our continuum of need document will help you assess the level of support needed or risks present. Professionals should refer to the Continuum of Need Document and it's Guidance before making a MASH request.
  • If you believe a child and their family need some additional support you should discuss this with the family first and agree who is best placed to provide that support. .
  • If you think a child or family has needs at the targeted level, which are not being met by services currently involved with the family, you can make a referral using the MASH Request Form - Online or the MASH Referral Form - Word Version .and request help and support.  It will be expected that you have completed an Early Help Assessment. (please refer to the Early Help Assessment Guidance) and convened a Team Around the Family Meeting using the Plan, Review & Closure Form at Level 2 of the Continuum of Need.   Please attach completed Early Help Assessments, Plan Review & Closure forms with your referral. This is a consent based model and you will need to have obtained the consent on the Early Help Referral but also to share information from the parent(s) / carer(s) and the child if they are Gillick / Fraser competent (please see the Information Sharing & Consent page).
  • If you are a professional (e.g. CAFCASS, probation, housing conducting statutory safeguarding checks, assessments), working with a child and you require supporting information from children’s social care records use MASH Request Form - Online or the MASH Referral Form - Word Version the form to make a Statutory Request for Information.
  • If you are worried that a child is at risk of significant harm through abuse or neglect, please call the MASH immediately on 020 8314 9181 to discuss your concerns and then use the MASH Request Form - Online or the MASH Referral Form - Word Version to request child protection from the MASH.
  • If you are unsure about whether or not to make a MASH request, please contact the MASH Consultation Helpline on 020 8314 6660
  • If you are unsure about how to apply the levels of need for Early Help or you need support around the Early Help process and tools, please contact the Early Help Team Consultation Helpline on 020 8314 7333.

Opening hours are Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm.  If you have concerns about the welfare of a child outside of these hours, please contact the Emergency Duty Team on 020 8314 6000 and ask to speak to the out-of-hours duty social worker.

Other Documents:

Early Help Strategy

Plan, Review & Closure Form

Early Help Leaflet for children and families.





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