Reporting a safeguarding concern
The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is the single point of contact for all professionals to report safeguarding concerns.
If you are a professional and have a safeguarding concern about a child that may require the involvement of Children's Social Care, you should report your concern to the Nottinghamshire Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).
How to report a safeguarding concern - for professionals
Professionals can report a safegaurding concern to Nottinghamshire Children's Social care by completing the reporting a safeguarding concern form [Word]
The completed form should be returned via secure email to email@example.com from a secure email account (.gcsx, .pnn or .nhs.net addresses). If you do not have a secure email address , please follow the instructions at the end of the form to protect and return using a password.
If you believe the child is in immediate danger, call the Police immediately on 999.
If you believe a child urgently needs specialist support from children's social care, phone MASH on 0300 500 80 90 and give us as much information as you can. Your information will be passed to a social care manager who will decide the action needed and will normally respond to you within one hour.
You must follow up your telephone call by sending a completed reporting a safeguarding concern form [Word] to the MASH within 48 hours.
Before reporting a safeguarding concern
Before reporting a safeguarding concern you need to consider if the child or young person’s needs can be met by services from within your own agency, or by other professionals already involved with the family. You can contact the Early Help Unit for referral to early help services, or for support and guidance about the Early Help Assessment Form [PDF].
We know that it is sometimes difficult to decide the appropriate point of intervention. To help you to determine levels of need when making your own assessment we have developed the Pathway to Provision [PDF] threshold guidance.
Before reporting a concern you should always get the consent of the parents or carers, except where a child is considered to be at risk of harm and you believe that seeking parental consent may increase this risk. Click here to download the MASH leaflet for parents and carers [PDF]. The leaflet advises parents of the purpose of the MASH, how and why multi agency information is shared and how they can request a copy of their child’s MASH safeguarding concern. A copy of the leaflet should be given to parents prior to submitting a children’s safeguarding concern to the MASH, unless by doing so would put a child or adult at risk of harm. A MASH parents and carers printable factsheet [PDF] version of the leaflet is also available.
If you are unsure about thresholds or seeking consent please seek advice from your line manager.
When to report a safeguarding concern
Safeguarding concerns should be reported when your assessment (including EHAF) has identified needs which can only be met through specialist services at Level 4 (child in need of specialist services). In some cases, multiple identified needs under Level 3 (child in need of targeted services) will need specialist services. The Pathway to Provision [PDF] threshold guidance describes these levels and the support available.
You can talk about this with social care team managers and social workers based in the MASH and any decision reached should be clearly recorded by the agencies involved.