4.1 Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)


This chapter describes the functions of the MASH and the roles of the multi Agency staff working within it. All staff working with or having a responsibility for children should fully familiarise themselves with this chapter.


Knowsley MASH (Multi-Agency Referral Form)

Knowsley Helping Children Thrive


This chapter was amended in December 2021 by updating Appendix 1: Children's Safeguarding Services – Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub Operational Procedures.

1. Functions of the MASH

1.1 The Knowsley Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) brings together agencies from services that have contact with children and adults at risk to make the best possible use of their combined knowledge to keep them safe from harm. It enables those agencies in the MASH to lawfully and securely share relevant and appropriate information with others so that a true and balanced risk assessment can be made and appropriate intervention agreed.  The processes in this manual relate to contacts made to the MASH in relation to concerns regarding children. Adult Social Care, who are also based in the MASH, have their own processes for managing safeguarding notifications in relation to Adult at Risk.
1.2 The MASH provides a 'first point of contact' for Children's Social Care (CSC) enabling members of the public and professionals to raise concerns about the welfare of Children. This may include Children identified as potentially being in need of support or at risk of suffering abuse. The MASH is part of the Knowsley Children and Families Service.
1.3 The MASH operates between 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday. At all other times the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) acts as the 'first point of contact' EDT will only respond to Emergencies that cannot wait until the next working day. This is usually circumstances where there are immediate concerns regarding the welfare of Children or there is a risk of family breakdown and the children are being placed 'in care'.
1.4 It is the responsibility of the CA to record all initial contacts received by the MASH Social Care Team via a telephone or electronically through an email or MARF (see Knowsley Helping Children Thrive)

It is the responsibility of the MASH social workers to consider (with managerial oversight) if there should be one of the following outcomes:

  • A referral to the area CSC team for the completion of a Single Assessment;
  • Contact/referral directed to another appropriate service or agency for EH services;
  • Receive and record notifications or request for information from another Local Authorities or agencies (CAFCASS, Probation, Police or Education) on behalf of CSC;
  • S47 Child protection Strategy Meeting.
1.6 There is no pre-requisite to complete an EHA before referring to Children's Social Care. If an EHA has been completed at the point of contact/referral this should be sent with the MARF or sent separately if the contact is received through a telephone call.
1.7 The social worker in the MASH will provide verbal and written feedback to the referrer on the outcome of all enquiries through the MASH and record this on the Contact/Referral form. This includes advising the referrer of the details of the TM and Area Team if the referral is progressed for a SA.
1.8 Social Workers are on a rota to provide a daily 'duty' role within MASH. This involves working alongside the CA and being the first point of reference for contacts that are received. This includes providing advice on any new contacts that do not meet the threshold for Level 4 intervention (see Knowsley Helping Children Thrive) and can be dealt with by providing immediate advice and/or signposting to the appropriate service.

2. Staff Based in MASH

The agencies shown below work together to help identify need, vulnerability, risk and harm in respect of all contacts to the MASH that raise concerns in respect of a child. Once the level of need or risk is identified the teams decide the initial multi-agency actions required to protect and support the child.

Police Safeguarding (MASH Vulnerable Persons Unit)

- 1 Inspector (MASH Coordinator), 1 Detective Sergeant, 3 Safeguarding Constables, 4 MASH Support Staff, Light Duties Staff (variable).

Manages all police internal safeguarding referrals and arranges notifications to other agencies e.g. CSC, ASC, Health, Housing, Education. Risk assesses Domestic Abuse incidents and services the MARAC process. Facilitates the police attendance at meeting structures around children and Adults at Risk. Inspector manages team and provides multi-agency co-ordination function for MASH.

IOM (Integrated Offender Management)

– 1 Detective Sergeant, 3 Constables.

Manages persistent and dangerous offender cohort (non-sex offenders).

Child Sexual Exploitation Team

- 1 Detective Sergeant, 4 Detective Constables, 2   Missing Persons/CSE Co-ordinators, 1 Researcher.

Provides a pro-active investigation capability in respect of CSE. Manages the MACSE process and enquiries into missing persons.

Children's Social Care (CSC)

– 1 Team Manager, 1 Senior Practitioner, 3 Social Workers, Full time Call Handlers (to be co-located) who input all contacts made to MASH.

Provides 'front door' service for CSC. Determines thresholds. Facilitates information gathering/initial strategy meeting in respect of Section 47 cases that are referred during office hours.

Early Help

-1 Team Manager, 3 Co-ordinators, 1 Knowsley Information Service and Early Help Support Officer.

Manages the Early Help process from within the MASH. Can provide information from Early Help database to assist safeguarding cases at all thresholds. Provides 'gatekeeping' function around thresholds working alongside Children's Social Care to provide an integrated 'Front door' service.

Adult Social Care / Social Inclusion – 1 Team Manager, 1 Senior Practitioner, 3 Social Workers.

Provides 'Front door' service for Adult Social Care. Facilitates information gathering/initial strategy meetings around all new contacts relevant to safeguarding Adults at Risk  as required. Provides information to assist children's cases as required.

Health (Five Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust)

– 1 Safeguarding Children's Specialist Nurse.

Provides health information from a range of health providers including Health Visiting, School Health, Local Hospitals, GP's, Allied Health Professionals, Mental Health Services and CAMHS.

Housing (Knowsley Housing Trust)

– 1 Tenancy Enforcement Officer.

Provides housing and tenancy enforcement information for the Borough's largest Housing provider.

CAPTION: abbreviations and terms table
BS Business Support
CA Call Advisors
CAFCASS Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service
VPRF1 Police Document (Vulnerable Persons Reporting Form)
CIN Children in Need
CCO Child Care Officer
CYP Children and Young Person
CSC Children's Social Care
EDT Emergency Duty Team
EH Early Help
EHA Early Help Assessment
IM Improvement Manager
MARF Multi-Agency Referral Form
MASH Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub
OLA Other Local Authority
OOB Out of Borough
OOBCLA Out of Borough Looked After
QA Quality Assurance
QUA Quality Assurance Unit
SQAU Safeguarding and Quality Assurance Unit
SA Single Assessment
TM Team Manager
Liquid Logic Electronic Social Care Record

Appendix 1: Children's Safeguarding Services – Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub Operational Procedures

Click here to view Appendix 1: Children's Safeguarding Services – Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub Operational Procedures.