A MASH contact (previously known as a MASH enquiry) is the name given to professionals contacting MASH about safeguarding concerns that they have for a child, where they think that they may require Children’s Social Care involvement.
Before submitting a MASH contact
You should first consider if the needs of the child or young person could be met by your own agency or other professionals working with the family. You may want to contact your early help locality officer for support and guidance around Devon’s early help offer.
Ensure that any early help plan in place has been given sufficient time and support to enable the family to make any changes required.
You should discuss your concerns, in full, with all parents/carers and then seek their consent for a MASH contact. You should not seek consent if you believe that to do so would increase the risk of harm to the child.
You should discuss your concerns and seek advice from your line manager and/or the safeguarding lead within your agency.
Consider requesting a consultation with a MASH social worker to enable you to talk through concerns and consider if a MASH contact is appropriate.
MASH contacts only need to be completed where the situation presents as an acute or chronic risk to the child (significant risk of harm). If in doubt, or this is an urgent child protection enquiry, please ring the MASH consultation line.
Things to consider
- What are the risks and impacts on the child(ren)?
- What action have you taken to address the risk? Have you considered if any of the voluntary or community resources can help to reduce the risk?
- Outline resilience and protective factors.
- What changes would you need to see in the family to be assured that the risk of harm has reduced?
- Views of the child
- Views of the parent
- Did you have anything else you wanted to share?
For help assessing the safeguarding risk to children, read and download our threshold tool.
Submitting a MASH contact
Complete the MASH contact form. Please:
- be succinct and use bullet points where possible
- include a summary of current and historical concerns alongside outlining what support has been put in place to address these
- record why you feel that Children’s Social Care intervention is now needed and what that will add to the current support in place
If you believe that the concerns require an urgent response, for example, because the child is in immediate danger please telephone MASH on 0345 155 1071. You will also be required to follow this up promptly with a written contact form.
After submitting a MASH contact
Please continue to work with other agencies to support the family with any needs/concerns.
You should expect to initially hear from a MASH social worker within 1 working day to let you know if the contact has been accepted. If the contact is accepted then you should be kept informed of the outcome within a week of it being accepted.
You can get in touch with MASH to ask about the progress of the contact or obtain the name of the social worker who is allocated.
Devon County Council (DCC) will act as the data controller for any personal data that you provide. DCC will ensure that the data is processed under the Data Protection Act 2018. More information about how this is done is available here.