Initial Response Service


IRS is the ‘Front Door’ for Children Services where there is a concern regarding a child who may have additional vulnerabilities, this may be that the child is at significant risk of harm. IRS consists of 5 teams; a Multi agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and 4 assessment teams.

All contacts are initially received and screened by MASH, the team will gather information held by the multi agency 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
  • Meeting the threshold for support by Early Help Services
  • Meets threshold for the Children with Disabilities Team
  • Meets threshold for Children’s services for an assessment.

On meeting a threshold the referral will be transferred within 24 hours to one of the 4 assessment teams. These teams rotate and each team spends a week on ‘duty’ and will undertake the assessments on all children referred in that duty week. The referrals will consist of the following:

  • Children in Need – S17
  • Child Protection – S47
  • Look after Children – S31 & S20

On conclusion of the assessment, cases then transfer to one of the longer term teams on a plan or will be supported by Early Help services.

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