Information for professionals working with children and young people

Single point of contact

The Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) brings together a number of professionals from different agencies including housing, social care, start well, education and police. MASH brings together agencies from services that have contact with children who are vulnerable, require additional support or who are at risk to make the best possible use of their combined knowledge to keep them safe from harm.

The MASH currently provides a ‘single point of contact’ for Children’s Services enabling members of the public and professionals to raise worries they may have about the safety and welfare of children in Wigan. This may include children identified as potentially being in need of support or at risk of suffering harm.

The MASH is central to triaging requests for support and the primary task of the MASH is to provide advice, support and triage/screen requests for support and phone calls to children services. It is our "one front door" to Children’s Services and is designed to ensure that referrals are signposted to the appropriate service in line with the Levels of Need

Agencies requesting a service will use the online Professional Referral form (PRF The agency requesting the service will clearly show on the form whether or not the worries being raised is in relation to requiring a statutory assessment or intervention at level 4 or to request support through Targeted Services under Level 3. If an EHA has been completed at the point of contact this should be sent with the PRF or sent separately if the contact is received through a telephone call.

It is important to always gain informed consent unless doing so places a child at risk of significant harm or further risk of significant harm.  When sharing information, agencies will only share information that is relevant to the concerns raised and that is proportionate to the level of need and risk to the child or family of concern.

The Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) operates between 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday. At all other times the Out of Hours (OOH)  acts as the ‘first point of contact’. Out of Hours (OOH) 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

Early help

Working Together 2013 states that

‘providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later. Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years.’  

Safeguarding is all of our business, research tells us that delivering effective early help is the best way to meet need and stop escalation.

‘Early Help’ is the framework that Wigan have developed to meet children’s needs at level 1, 2 and 3 of the safeguarding threshold. The process involves delivering a strengths based Early Help assessment. This enables professionals to work alongside families to identify strengths and areas that they need to develop. Following an assessment, an action plan is developed and this is reviewed on a regular basis until outcomes have been achieved.

Early Help is embedded in a thresholds of need document. The Children’s Trust and WSCB oversee the delivery of Early Help and are advocating this framework for all partners who deliver support to children and young people at Level 1, 2 and 3.  

Schools have been granted access to the Early Help Case Management System known as EHM and this enables them to check if an Early Help is currently open on a child and to start a new Early Help episode and complete Early Help paperwork. Partners that do not have access to the system have the option to contact the team for early help checks and to send a completed paper version of the Early Help documentation to the team where it will be added to the system on their behalf.

Targeted Youth Support Service (TYSS)

The Targeted Youth Support Service (TYSS) supports young people to address risky behaviour and empowers them to make positive changes in their lives. We support people of all ages to work together to overcome issues and improve the local area so that everyone can feel safe and confident in their own community. 

Offering support for:

Find out more about restorative solutions

Children in need

Children in care

Resources for professionals working with Children Looked After (CLA)

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