Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
The Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) brings key agencies and professionals together to share better quality information, at an early stage, helping analysis and decision-making, to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults more effectively.
Within the MASH, information from different agencies can be brought together in a confidential environment and used to decide what action needs to happen. As a result, the agencies can act quickly in a co-ordinated and consistent way, ensuring that children and vulnerable adults are safeguarded.
The MASH is a partnership between Norfolk County Council (Child and Adult Services), Norfolk Constabulary, children’s health services, domestic abuse organisations and other local organisations. There are also virtual links to education, mental health, adult health services, probation, housing. It includes a police team who process domestic violence disclosures (Claire’s Law Applications) and also manages referrals relating to Child Criminal Exploitation.
There is no single organisation called the MASH – remember that it is a collaboration of agencies – you may speak to a police officer, a social care / health worker / advocate linked to it - each agency keeps its own roles within the MASH.
For safeguarding adults, it is the police officers in the MASH who will always be part of the initial safeguarding process, and there are some Norfolk County Council Safeguarding Adult Practice Consultants (SAPCs) who are also based there. The MASH SAPCs will be involved only where the adult at risk does not have an active social care worker, and mainly deal with concerns that are raised via the main Norfolk County Council contact routes – they will decide if further action needs to be taken and by whom.
Where there is already an active worker, the process will still link with the police in the MASH, but the worker will be based in a community team and will work with SAPCs based in the social care local areas.
The MASH brings the following benefits:
- Better safeguarding decision making for children and vulnerable adults through a multi agency integrated approach to improve the protection and service delivery to the families
- Closer partnership working, clearer accountability and less duplication of effort
- A reduction in the number of inappropriate referrals and re-referrals
- Improved communication and information sharing between agencies