6,393 contacts over 7 months
35% contacts converted to referrals needing statutory intervention
220 contacts per week
As a newly established Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), all partner agencies within the MASH were disheartened with Ofsted’s findings. Ofsted had found that the use of referrals was inconsistent and in evaluating a child’s history, information-gathering was often too focused on the presenting issue rather than an understanding of the child’s lived experience. Already faced with a large number of new contacts, the North West Council needed a trusted partner. One that could handle all new contacts and referrals whilst the existing in-house team embedded more efficient ways of working.
Although the partner agencies were co-located, they were still very much working in silos. Being co-located with the council’s MASH team, Innovate CYPS was to provide much needed reprieve and input to support the improvement of multi-agency partnership working.
We quickly mobilised four senior Innovate CYPS social workers who were supported by three managers. Co-located with the council’s own team for seven months, Innovate CYPS processed all new enquiries (averaging 220 per week). This gave the council the time and opportunity to concentrate on their resourcing strategy and develop service areas that required improvement.
Taking a child-centred approach, our team quickly and efficiently progressed cases for child and family assessment, referring them on to appropriate universal services, initiating child protection enquiries or no further action. We also provided advice and support directly to families and professionals. In doing so, we set clear objectives to enhance multi-agency working whilst monitoring application of threshold.
Evidence-based working was one of the main drivers in our delivery of the project. Throughout the project there was a real cultural shift where partner agencies were holding case discussions and sharing information to make informed decisions ensuring there was evidence of history being taken into account.
We engaged with frontline workers, senior managers and partner agencies to understand the issues causing a high level of unnecessary enquiries. This allowed us to provide an objective insight into current working practices and introduce evidence-based ways to improve the performance of the MASH.
The Innovate CYPS team screened 6,393 MASH contacts over the seven-month term of the contract. 2,288 (36%) of those contacts were converted into referrals deemed as requiring statutory intervention. Our tactical support gave the council’s children’s services team and partner agencies the headspace and capacity to address the issues raised by Ofsted. By bringing partners closer together, there’s now a consistent and strong understanding of the child’s lived experience.
We also successfully worked in partnership with the Council’s team to help design and implement new processes to make sure thresholds are consistently applied and understood. This included suggesting process improvements and additional staff training.
We received extremely positive feedback. Everyone involved found working with the Innovate CYPS team a positive and valuable experience. Having helped to be part of creating a more robust MASH, the council and partner agencies are in a better position to continue their improvement journey, knowing that whilst there are still areas to improve on, they can do it together.
What our clients say
“The team displayed a positive attitude, eager to work with the staff and collectively come up with suggestions to improve the quality of service. There was a genuine feeling that partners were being asked and included as decisions were made.”
Detective, Police MASH team
What our clients say
“Innovate team provided significant input to support the improvement of multi-agency partnership working and were valuable in developing better relationships within the MASH service.”
Director of Children’s Services, North West Council
Children in Need
Reduce your reliance on long-term CIN plans. Our highly experienced CIN social work team will take on statutory case management and follow a locally-tailored, sustainable and intensive home-based intervention programme. We’ll leave you with reduced CIN numbers and a legacy model to prevent drift and avoid future delay.Read More
Duty & Assessment
Are you looking for more capacity within your duty and assessment team to clear a backlog of cases? Or do you reprieve to look at a service restructure. We can help by managing cases coming in for referral and assessment. So you can be confident your local authority is meeting its statutory responsibilities, whilst we give your staff the chance to bring their cases up-to-date and leave your service with manageable caseloads.Read More
Edge of Care
Reduce your edge of care costs and improve the life chances of vulnerable children and young people. Our solution brings statutory social work and multidisciplinary support together in a far more structured and focused way to deliver sustainable positive outcomes and huge cost-savings. Our aim is simple – to keep the young people we support safe and prevent them from being unnecessarily placed into care.Read More
Our managed service model is proven to increase the range of foster care provision available to meet the needs of children who would otherwise be placed within high-cost residential or external foster care placements. In return, you’ll save on your placement budget, increase your in-house foster service capacity and capabilities to secure better outcomes and reduce the number of placement moves for children and young people.Read More
Are you struggling to keep up with what is an impossible number of MASH referrals? Let us take the pressure off and help you develop a more robust, timely MASH. We’ll manage all contacts and referrals coming through your front-door and work with you to co-produce a new MASH model. One that secures timely outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and their families.Read More
Discharge of Care
Could addressing a much-overlooked area of discharge of care orders reduce LAC numbers and create direct cost-savings? By introducing a new model that promotes the timely discharge of care orders and the conversion of foster carers or kinship carers into Special Guardians, we can achieve measurable cost-savings. All whilst securing plans of permanence for children and young people.Read More
Do you have concerns about the length of time children are subject to child protection plans? If yes, how do you improve the timeliness of care proceedings and ensure that cases are front loaded? Holding case management for an agreed amount of time, we will dramatically increase the pace of action in progressing complex cases. We’ll also work with you to introduce proven sustainable longer-term solutions to reduce the risk of drift and delay.Read More
Children with Disabilities
In most cases, needs of those children and young people can be met within Early Help or outside of social care within the local authority’s existing offer. Proven to close up to 30% of cases to social services and step down a further 20%, Innovate CYPS’ 14-week Children with Disabilities (CWD) programme reduces costs whilst identifying new care pathways for children, young people and their families.Read More
Are you preparing for an Ofsted inspection and want to understand where your services are at in terms of practice quality and performance? Our team will review your case files and practice across the child’s pathway to give you a thorough understanding of the areas that most need your attention. As part of our knowledge-transfer, we also mentor your front-line managers on our auditing process for a 360 approach.Read More
- Children in Need
- Duty & Assessment
- Edge of Care
- High-Cost Placement
- Discharge of Care
- Children with Disabilities
- Service Auditing
Want to know more?
Contact us to find out more about our MASH Service.Contact Us