Quick Exit
RSS feeds

Lewisham Safeguarding Children Board

Lewisham Safeguarding Children Board

Email: safeguardingboard@lewisham.gov.uk

Tel: 020 8314 3396

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

If someone is concerned about the safety and welfare of a child, they can contact the MASH, which is a partnership of agencies with a duty to keep children safe.

Contact Details:-

If a child or young person is in immediate danger call 999 or contact your local police on 101.

For an urgent referral to MASH please telephone 020 8314 6660.

Email: mashagency@Lewisham.gov.uk

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. 

The Emergency Duty Team will be in operation outside of these hours and can be contacted on 020 8314 6000.

What is the MASH?

The Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) provides a single point of access to the services that help keep children safe. It is a multi-agency team made up of representatives from a range of services that provide advice, support and protection as needed. These services include:

  • children’s social care
  • Lewisham police
  • health services 
  • child and adolescent mental health services
  • early help
  • housing 
  • probation 
  • substance misuse
  • victim support.

The MASH provides a secure environment for these services to share information and improve decision-making whenever there are concerns for a child.

What does the MASH do?

If you are concerned about a child who has additional needs that are not being met by services currently involved with the family, the MASH will respond to requests for advice and support. The MASH also responds to child protection concerns for children at risk of significant harm.

Further information is available on requesting help from the MASH, and for families whose children have been referred to the MASH.

How does it work? 

When the MASH receives a referral, the agencies within the team can share information they have on the family with a social worker, who will use this to decide what help the child and family need and whether the child is at risk of harm. The MASH ensures that all referrals are dealt with in a timely and efficient manner and that information is shared within a secure environment.

By sharing information as soon as possible, the team can get a better understanding of what difficulties the family may be facing. This way, we can make sure the family receives the right kind of help and support at the right time.

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 6660. If you think a child or young person may be in immediate danger, call 999 or contact your local police on 101.
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 6660. 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 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 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. An early help assessment can help you get a full picture of the family’s situation and plan how to meet that need.
  • 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 use the form to request help and support from the MASH.
  • If you are a professional working with a child and you require supporting information from children’s social care (e.g. CAFCASS, probation, housing conducting statutory safeguarding checks, assessments), use the form to request supporting 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 6660 to discuss your concerns and then use the form to request child protection from the MASH.

If you are unsure about whether or not to make a MASH request, please contact us by phone or email using the details below.

MASH request form

Use this form to request support or protection from the Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

For urgent child protection referrals, contact the MASH on 020 8314 6660. If you think a child or young person may be in immediate danger, call 999 or contact your local police on 101.
  • The MASH referral form should only be used by professionals working with vulnerable children.
  • Residents and other members of the public who are concerned about a child can still make a referral in person or over the phone by calling 020 8314 6660.
  • For out-of-hours, call the Emergency Duty Social Care Team on 020 8314 6000.

Request support or protection from the MASH

From 1 February 2019, you need to complete the new MASH referral form for all child protection referrals and requests for targeted help and support for families.

The form allows you to describe your concerns in a more straightforward and intuitive way for quicker and better decision-making.

Any referral sent after 1 February 2019 that is not on the new form will be returned. This form replaces the referral function of the CAF.
 
Requests for Early Help services cannot be accepted without consent.
 
For social care requests, practitioners should gain consent to share information, as long as it does not put a child at greater risk. Information may be shared without consent if there is a need to safeguard a child more quickly.

Requests for Social Care Information

If you are a professional (e.g. CAFCASS, probation, housing conducting statutory safeguarding checks, assessments), working with a child/ or adult and you require specific supporting information from children’s social care records or where you need to find out if we hold such information use the MASH Request for information form to make a Statutory Request for Information.

This form is only to be used by professional agencies who have a duty to undertake such enquiries as part of their statutory role. 

Request for Information Form

What happens next? 

We will ensure that your referral reaches the correct team and we will aim to let you know the outcome of your referral within 48 hours. 
 
If you do not hear back from us regarding the outcome or progress of your request, please contact us.

Other Documents:

Lewisham Threshold Document - April 2018

Early Help Strategy

Plan, Review & Closure Form

Early Help Leaflet for children and families.

Comments

Have your say...

Comments are closed for this article