The Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) provides triage and multi-agency assessment of safeguarding concerns in respect of vulnerable children and adults. It brings together professionals from a range of agencies into an integrated multi-agency team. The MASH team makes assessments and decisions depending on statutory need, child protection or early help. Quicker response times, a co-ordinated approach and better informed decision making ensures that vulnerable children and adults are protected.
The MASH is based at Hampshire County Council’s frontline contact centre, building upon the excellent work of the existing Children’s Reception Team – the gateway to children’s social care.
The MASH team shares information from every agency to decide the most appropriate intervention in response to the person’s identified needs. This ensures that vulnerable children and adults are responded to quickly and efficiently by the most appropriate professional. Timescales are agreed depending on statutory need, child protection or early help.
Outcomes of the MASH
A faster, more co-ordinated and consistent response to safeguarding concerns about vulnerable children and adults.
An improved ‘journey’ for the child or adult, with greater emphasis on early help and better informed services delivering intervention at the right time.
A clearer process for the professional or member of the public raising a concern about a vulnerable child or adult.
Closer partnership working, clear accountability and improved multi-agency communications.
A reduction in the number of inappropriate referrals and re-referrals.
Benefits to agencies of the MASH model
Safeguarding of vulnerable children and adults is a collective priority.
Efficiency savings – financial savings through economies of scale and avoiding duplication of work.
Efficiencies through centralisation of business support/back office, accommodation and utilities.
Quicker response times with a better co-ordinated approach to resources meaning each agency works more effectively and efficiently in their own field of expertise.
A better understanding and appreciation of each others roles and responsibilities, leading to effective multi-agency working.
Development of flexible working patterns and providing enhanced customer service.