Families tell us that they want ‘help before problems turn into crises’ and that a ‘single gateway to information and support is the best way to ensure families get the help they need’. (The Family Commission, Starting a Family Revolution: Putting Families in Charge, 4Children (2010)

Devon Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub

In Devon, the Early Help Coordination Centre and the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) work together to deal with all levels of child protection and safeguarding.

The MASH is the central resource for the Devon local Authority area receiving all serious safeguarding and child protection enquiries. The MASH is staffed with professionals from a range of agencies including police, probation, fire, ambulance, health, education and social care. These professionals share information to ensure early identification of potential significant harm, and trigger interventions to prevent further harm to children.

MASH staff 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  will immediately trigger interventions to the child or young person and their family to prevent harm.

MASH is located next to the Early Help Coordination Centre to enable information to pass across all level of enquires and safeguarding procedures. You can read more about Early Help here.

Working together in this way ensures that agencies can appropriately share information and respond to a child’s needs quickly and efficiently. The MASH 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.

Checklist for making a MASH enquiry

For more information about MASH and about referring a child click here