MASH: Oxfordshire County Council

background
icon

1139

1139 enquiries over 3 months

background
icon

95

Average of 95 enquiries per week resulted in MASH enquiries

background
icon

98%

98% of enquiries progressed in agreed timescales

The challenge

Prompt processing of enquiries into a Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is vital to identify any urgent child protection issues. The council needed a trusted partner to work with to help clear an accumulation of enquiries and embed more efficient ways of working to prevent future pressures on its own MASH team. Working directly with the council’s MASH team and in accordance with the ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2015 statutory guidance, we set clear objectives enhancing multi-agency working whilst monitoring application of threshold. This enables us to identify any potential risk to a child on the same day as enquiries.

Continue Reading

Our approach

We quickly mobilised four senior Innovate CYPS social workers to work on a co-location basis alongside the council’s own team at a local police station for three months. Our brief was to process all new enquiries, allowing the council’s in-house team to concentrate on existing workload. This included progressing cases to child and family assessment, referring them on to appropriate universal service, initiating child protection enquiries or no further action. We also provided advice and support directly to families and professionals.

Each member of our team had a protected caseload of 25 MASH enquiries at a time with a target to progress at least 10 per day.

With an average of 95 enquiries per week resulting in a MASH referral, evidence-based working in real time was one of the main drivers in our delivery of the project. Statistics were collated at the end of each day by our highly trained team of social work administrators, and discussed with the project manager, before being shared with the service manager and director.

We engaged with frontline workers, senior managers and partner agencies to understand the issues causing a high level of unnecessary enquiries. This enabled us to give an objective outlook on current working practices and introduce a number of evidence-based ways to improve the performance of the MASH.

The results

The Innovate CYPS team received 1139 enquiries over the three-month term of the contract, relating to 1963 children. On average, the team received 95 enquiries per week that resulted in MASH enquiries and 98% of these were processed within the agreed timescales. The tactical support we provided enabled the council’s MASH team to clear its accumulation of cases one week before the end of the project.

We also successfully worked in partnership with the council’s team to help design and implement new, more efficient processes and reduce the risk of future backlogs. This included suggesting a number of service improvements and additional staff training. For example, we found that, in almost 70% of domestic abuse notifications, a MASH enquiry was not necessary. Therefore, we recommended the creation of a multidisciplinary team, comprising health, police and social work personnel to achieve better liaison and prevent inappropriate use of the MASH.

We received extremely positive feedback on our performance from the council and partner agencies. Everyone involved found working with the Innovate CYPS team highly productive and were delighted with the positive results achieved.

Continue Reading

What our clients say

“Innovate CYPS progressed MASH enquiries in a timely manner with regular progress reports from senior managers who demonstrated a sound understanding of MASH processes and requirements within the wider context of children’s social care. This enabled our substantive MASH team to clear a backlog of work.”

Lara Patel, Area Service Manager, Oxfordshire County Council

Children in Need

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

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

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
High-Cost Placement

High-Cost Placement

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
MASH

MASH

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

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
Safeguarding

Safeguarding

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

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
Service Auditing

Service Auditing

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
  • MASH
  • Discharge of Care
  • Safeguarding
  • Children with Disabilities
  • Service Auditing

Want to know more?

Contact us to find out more about our MASH Service.

Contact Us