The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is the single point of contact for all safeguarding and early intervention concerns/requests for support regarding children and young people and the single point of contact for triaging and assessing all safeguarding concerns regarding adults in Wolverhampton.
It brings together expert safeguarding professionals from services that have contact with children, young people, adults and families, making the best possible use of their combined knowledge and information to keep people safe from harm.
What does the MASH do?
- Is a ‘front door’ to manage all safeguarding referrals and early intervention requests for support
- Provides a secure and confidential environment for professionals to share information.
- Enables early identification of potential safeguarding concerns and facilitates access to timely and effective interventions.
- Prioritises referrals using Red, Amber & Green (RAG) rating.
- Refers cases to other agencies where appropriate.
- Where necessary, activates ‘immediate response’ social work services to provide protection for children, young people or adults
- It provides safe decisions for situations that do not require further action.
HOW DOES THE MASH PROCESS WORK?
- All referrals will be received and recorded via Customer Services
- Customer Service will load the referral onto Guardian and check whether the adult is already known to Social Care
- All safeguarding referrals will be forwarded into the MASH
- The MASH Manager will assess and triage all the referrals and will apply an initial
RAG rating and identify the partners from whom further information is required
- If it is an open case (must have an allocated social worker) or a case closed within 28 days it will be directed to the allocated social worker’s manager desktop
- If the case is not open, the partners will supply a RAG rating based on the information they have
- The MASH Manager will review the collated information together with the individual RAG ratings and apply the final RAG
- If there is an immediate risk to the adult a planning discussion and appropriate actions will be taken straight away
- When the MASH receives a referral, the MASH Screening Officers first check if the child is already known to a Children and Young People Service e.g. Social Care, Early Intervention and Youth Offending.
- If it is an open case, or a case that has been closed within the last 28 days, the allocated worker is considered to be the best person to support the child or young person, so the case is referred directly to them.
- If there is no allocated worker, then the MASH Screening Officers will collate any relevant information, which may include, accessing other systems such as Housing information and present this to the Lead Professional for Social Care and Early Intervention within the MASH. The Lead Professionals for Social Care & Early Intervention will then review the information and apply a threshold/RAG. The following will then apply:
RED - There is a potential child protection issue (e.g. serious injury to the child). To be dealt with in 4 hours (or immediate if required) — straight to Strategy Discussion. In some cases information will still be collated from agencies within the MASH to inform future decisions/plans.
AMBER - There are significant concerns but immediate action is not required. To be dealt with in 24 hours. — Referred into MASH for information gathering and a MASH discussion to inform action.
GREEN - There are concerns regarding a child's wellbeing but these do not meet statutory requirements (e.g. poor school attendance). To be dealt with in 72 hours — straight to Early Intervention for action.
For reds and ambers the Social Work Unit Manager will decide what agency information is required and then trigger an information request using the MASH Guardian System. This will include the referral information and the RAG rating that has been applied.
The Social Work Unit Manager may change the RAG rating as new information comes to light. Similarly, where referrals have gone direct to Early intervention, if more information is received that indicates the risk may be higher, this will be stepped back up to the MASH to reassess the threshold.
The MASH is split into two elements:
- Initial Contact and Triage
- The MASH Information Gathering Hub
The following staff will be in each element:
- Initial Contact and Triage
- Initial Referral Officers - both for Social Care and Early Intervention (Children only)
Early Intervention Professional Lead
- Social Work Unit Manager (covers both elements)
- Social Work Unit Managers
- Early Intervention (for Families)
- Royal Wolverhampton Hospital Trust
- Black Country Partnership Foundation Trust
- Recovery Near You
- Wolverhampton Homes
The MASH is made up of staff from different teams and partner agencies. Adults and Children's Social Care staff ore managed and supervised by the Social Work Unit Manager. Early Intervention staff are managed and supervised by an Early Intervention Professional Lead. The MASH has an overall MASH Service Manager.
Glossary of terms:
- RAG - Red/Amber/Green risk rating
- Referral - when a professional or member of the public reports a concern about a child, young person's, or adults welfare to the MASH.
Here you will find out more information on Referrals.
- Initial Referral Officers - the Early Intervention or Social Care Officers who will take the initial referral and undertake some initial checks/information gathering.
- Information Gathering Hub - MASH professionals who will research information to inform a decision and jointly discuss action to MASH referrals
- Safeguarding Children/Adults - Protecting children, young people and adults from maltreatment; preventing impairment of their health or development; and ensuring that they are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
For further information on Safeguarding in Wolverhampton is available on the Safeguarding Boards website.