Birmingham Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
Birmingham MASH is the first port of call for anyone with a child safeguarding concern.
A MASH is a multi-agency team which co-locates key safeguarding agencies with a view to better identifying risks to children, and improving decision-making, interventions, and outcomes. The creation of a MASH enables the multi-agency team to appropriately review their information systems, share all appropriate information in a secure environment, and ensure that the most appropriate response is provided to effectively safeguard and protect the child.
Birmingham MASH sees agencies across all sectors, represented by over 60 professionals from social care, police, health, education, and the voluntary sector, co-located at Birmingham City Council offices at Lancaster Circus. Phase 1 of the Birmingham MASH launched week commencing 28th July 2014, and will be followed by further phases as more agencies join the MASH team.
MASH Leaflet - click here
The MASH vision is “to provide a proportionate, timely and co-ordinated approach to child safeguarding needs through an innovative process of partnership working that ensures the child is at the centre of everything that we do.”
The Birmingham Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is a multi agency team for Child Protection, Domestic Abuse, Sexual Exploitation and Early Help referrals. It will improve the quality and timeliness of screening, information sharing, and decision making by partner agencies, resulting in interventions which are appropriate to the needs of the child, and which keep the child at the heart of everything we do.
The MASH will provide a city-wide multi-agency team, operating effectively and efficiently to deliver the best possible outcomes for children, young people and families across the city by:
- Comprehensively understanding the child’s journey and designing services in line with the ‘Right Services Right Time’ principles
- Developing and delivering a city-wide early help offer to shift the balance of activity to proactive rather than reactive work with children, young people and families, essentially stemming demand for high cost remedial action over time
- Focusing resources jointly and around an agreed set of intelligence and data to better plan and deliver services
- Focusing on an agreed set of outcome-based measures and supporting key performance indicators
MASH – The Child’s Journey
One of the challenges of the development of the MASH has been ensuring that it sits in perfect harmony with ‘Right Services Right Time’ needs model (click here), and to ensuring it interacts effectively with Family Support & Safeguarding Hubs and the development of integrated services at a local level.
The key determination in this is that MASH is there to respond to ALL Additional Needs and Complex/Significant Needs as described in ‘Right Services Right Time’ (click here).
If MASH is to provide a consistent and professional response to children with these needs it is imperative that all child safeguarding concerns are screened through the MASH.
Once the decision has been made that the needs are ADDITIONAL or COMPLEX/SIGNIFICANT the MASH process commences.
MASH Success Criteria
A full performance framework is being produced which will include the following measures to evaluate what difference is being made:
- Children are better protected from harm and risk is minimised;
- Faster, more co-ordinated and consistent responses to safeguarding concerns about vulnerable children;
- An improved ‘journey’ for the child with a greater emphasis on early intervention and better informed services being provided at the right time;
- An understanding of potential vulnerability, enabling more preventative action to be taken, dealing with cases before they escalate;
- Closer partnership working with clearer accountability, more effective use of resources, better planning and delivery and less duplication of effort;
- Changes in RAG rating during the journey of the child through the MASH which will highlight that information sharing has brought added value;
- A reduction in the number of children inappropriately accessing costly services from social care, the Police, Health and others;
- A reduction in the number of inappropriate and repeat referrals;
- All referrers will have access to a professional consultation service.
Find out more
In the lead up to launch on 28th July, almost 3,000 people attended roadshows to find out more about Birmingham MASH. The sessions were very positive and provided useful challenge and feedback that will be taken on board as part of the MASH development.
MASH Frequently Asked Questions - click here
Early Help Flow Chart
MASH Roadshow Presentation July 2014 - click here