MASH/Initial Response Service (IRS)
IRS is the ‘front door’ for Children’s Social Care when there is a concern regarding a child who may have additional vulnerabilities including when the child is at risk of significant harm. If the child already has a social worker then contacting them is the best course of action. If the child is not known then the front door is the place to start.
Anyone can make contact with us or the police if they are worried or have concerns about a child or young person. This includes:
- children and their families; relatives, friends, neighbours
- professionals such as teachers, doctors, nurses and health visitors
All contacts are initially received and screened by MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub). The team will gather information held by the partnership and a decision will then be made as to how the family will receive the most appropriate level of support they require. This could be through the following routes:
- signposting to universal services
- family meet the threshold for support by Early Help Services
- child meets threshold for support by the Children with Disabilities Team
- Meets threshold for Children’s Services for an assessment
What happens next?
On the decision that the contact meets the threshold for Children’s Services the referral will then be transferred within 24hrs to one of the Initial Response Teams.
The IRS teams will then assess and support children, young people and their families who are:
- children in need
- children in need of protection
- children who needs to become looked after
Once the assessment is complete, if further support is needed the child and their family will then transfers to one of the longer term teams on a plan or will be supported by Early Help Services.
Contact the team.