The Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is the central resource for the whole of Devon receiving all safeguarding and child protection enquiries.
It is staffed with professionals from a range of agencies including police, health, mental health, education, social care and housing as well as Probation, Early Years , Youth Offending, fire, ambulance and domestic violence services.
These professionals share information to ensure early identification of potential significant harm, and trigger interventions to prevent further harm or to safeguard children’s welfare.
MASH staff gather and review information from every agency and use this to decide the most appropriate intervention to respond to the child’s identified needs. Where appropriate, the MASH team is able to immediately trigger a response, the emphasis being on interventions to the child or young person and their family to prevent harm.
Working together in this way ensures that the agencies are sharing information and are able to respond to a child’s needs quickly and efficiently. The MASH method has resulted in more effective and earlier identification of vulnerable children. It has reduced the number of different professionals being involved, while keeping the most appropriate professional to deliver interventions to meet the needs identified in any particular case. It has avoided unnecessary duplication and visits, and simplified processes. It has also improved communication between professionals.
The MASH 4 key values/principles:
- Children are best brought up in families, with local, place based support when needed.
- We support families to find their own solutions, building on their strengths and finding solutions to whatever difficulties they are confronting to be resilient, improve family life and increase opportunities for their children.
- Children who need protection will receive it; wherever possible, early help will prevent the need for statutory intervention in family life.
- Timely permanent arrangements will be secured for children who can’t be brought up in their birth family.
When to contact The MASH
If you are concerned about a child or young person in Devon and want to speak to someone, or if you are a child or young person worried about your own safety or that of a friend, contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0345 155 1071 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and give as much information as you can.
If you are a professional an enquiry should be made to the MASH when you have safeguarding concerns that may require children’s social care involvement. Find out what to do when making an enquiry.
Confidentiality is very important and each agency ensures that the information shared is relevant and proportionate, it is always important that the consent of the parent is given to any enquiry to enable information sharing within the MASH, an exception to this would be should seeking that consent place a child or others at increased risk. Read more in the MASH privacy notice.