Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
The Bridgend Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub, or MASH, provides safeguarding services from both the council and our partners across the community in one place.
MASH is the single point of contact for all new safeguarding concerns. The Bridgend MASH will enable earlier, higher-quality information sharing, analysis and decision-making. Referrals are accepted from both professionals and members of the public.
MASH provides the opportunity for a higher standard of safeguarding by providing all professionals with more information to make better, more informed decisions. It enables professionals to protect the most vulnerable children and adults from harm at the earliest opportunity.
The Bridgend MASH is made up of staff from:
- Bridgend County Borough Council (Children’s and adult services, early help, education, housing, mental health services, drugs and alcohol team and independent domestic violence advocates.)
- South Wales Police Public Protection Unit (Child abuse investigation unit, vulnerable adult unit, domestic abuse unit, missing person and child exploitation team.)
- Registered social landlords
- Probation and community rehabilitation
- Health (Public protection nurses and child and adolescent mental health Services, or CAMHS, liaison worker)
- Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations, or BAVO, social navigator
- Barnardos child sexual exploitation, or CSE, advocate
A number of staff from different agencies physically meet and for those based off site there are virtual links.
Independent Domestic Violence Advisors, or IDVAs, support victims of domestic abuse who are at high risk of harm from:
- intimate partners
- ex partners
- family members
IDVAs also address the safety of the victim and their children to reduce risk of serious harm or homicide. The IDVA team is employed by the local authority and sits within the community safety partnership structure. An IDVA is the victims’ first contact. They work with the victim from point of crisis to assess:
- the level of risk
- discuss a range of suitable options
- develop safety plans and refer to other services
Safety plans include practical steps for the victim to take to protect themselves and their children. IDVAs support and work over the short to medium term to ensure safety and reduce risk.
IDVAs advocate for the victims within various settings, such as; criminal justice system and housing. Support is offered from after a domestic violence incident until the risk reduces.
Victims are then referred for ‘support in the community’ to appropriate support services. This service is available to both men and women who are victims of domestic abuse and/or sexual violence.
The team consists of the Referral Conferencing Team and the Initial Assessment Team.
The South Wales Referral Conference Team receive and risk assess all child concern Public Protection Notifications, or PPNs, and share information with relevant partners. The team perform statutory functions, such as strategy discussions and meetings, under the Wales Safeguarding Procedures. Arrangement for further investigation of criminal offences is also undertaken by the team.
The team attends and presents information at Child Protection Conferences on behalf of South Wales Police. They advise on different safeguarding requirements in support of criminal investigations.
The Information, Advice and Assistance Service, or IAA, works in partnership with police, health, adult services and MASH. The IAA team is the first point of contact for professionals and members of the public. The team respond to all initial enquiries in relation to children and families.
The team offer information, advice and assistance. These enquiries range from requests for information and services through to concerns about the welfare or safety of a child or young person.
The role of the team is to identify children and young people who are potentially eligible for services under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.
The team has a duty to assess whether a child is in need of care and support. When it is felt that the child meets eligibility criteria, a care and support assessment will be undertaken in order to identify services.
If it is felt that a child is at risk of harm the IAA team will liaise with partnership agencies and undertake a child protection investigation.
The young carers coordinator also sits within the IAA team and their role is purely to assess what caring duties a child has. The co-ordinator will then consider if there is any support that can be put into place for the family as a whole. The co-ordinator liaises with social services, early help, education and outside organisations.
The Early Help Screening Team is made up of one senior practitioner and three screening officers. The Early Help Team can offer a number of support services to children and their families with a range of support needs.
We have a range of services we can offer families such as:
- Family support
- Health and wellbeing support for young people
- Flying start support,
- Basic skills,
- Behaviour support services,
- Sign posting to other groups and organisations.
The team accept referrals from professionals and individuals. The team undertake a screening assessment with the family to assess their needs. The family will be referred to the most appropriate service.
The assessment process takes 10 days. Certain referrals can be prioritised.
Public protection nurses work across Cwm Taff Morgannwg University Health Board and are based within Bridgend MASH. Public protection nurses:-
- Assist and advise staff in relation to safeguarding children, adults at risk, deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) and domestic abuse.
- Support staff to plan, deliver and evaluate appropriate interventions.
- Plan and deliver the training programme around safeguarding children, adult at risk and domestic abuse to health board staff.
- Assist in the delivery of multi-agency safeguarding training with partner agencies.
- Work collaboratively with partner agencies across health, social care and others to safeguard children and adults.
- Promote the welfare of children and adults locally.
- Provide the health input to the MASH.
The Adult Safeguarding team deal with all adult at risk referrals. The team handle enquiries, strategy meetings and case conferences.
The team receive Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards requests, or DoLS, from nursing and residential care homes. Six assessments are undertaken, and if all six thresholds are met, a legal DoLS is issued. These are authorised by the adult safeguarding team manager and last for a maximum of 1 year.
The team manager is also responsible for a senor practitioner, social worker and occupational therapist based in Parc Prison. The team undertake assessments, agree care planning, and arrange care packages and equipment.
The primary role for the AARST will be to have responsibility for safeguarding of Adults at risk within the county borough Bridgend,. This will include the Review and process all Adutl at Risk Referrals and Public Protection Motifications and attend all Safeguarding meetings. They will work jointly with other agencies to protect vulnerable adults such as strategy discussions, meetings and provide relevant background information to aid decision making around investigation and risk management.
The AARST will provide support and guidance in all other internal departments where the investigation involves an adult at risk or where the need for an ABE interview is considered necessary by the Officer in Charge.
The Serious Child Abuse Investigation Team, or SCAIT, investigates allegations of abuse where the victim is a child under the age of 18 years and in the following circumstances:
- Abuse occurring within the family or extended family as opposed to a stranger.
- Abuse committed by a carer or person having care responsibility at the time of the alleged offence, e.g. babysitter or teacher.
- Allegations of sexual abuse where the victim is under 13 years.
SCAIT can also assist in the following cases:
- Interviewing children under the age of 18 years in cases of serious offences committed against them by strangers.
- Allegations of sexual abuse where the victim and offender are aged over 13 years but under the age of 18 years.
- Allegations of child abuse images on a computer where the suspect has children within the family, or extended family or otherwise has access to children.
- Where appropriate to conduct de brief interviews with children who have been missing. This is to establish if there are any child protection concerns.
- To provide expertise and advice to officers investigating domestic abuse where children are involved.
- To provide expertise and advice to the SIO in cases of child homicides and sudden unexpected deaths of children.
- To provide advice in any investigation of offences against children or investigations of crime committed by a child where welfare concerns arise about that child.
The MPIT/CSE team support and assist in the management of missing persons and child exploitation cases in Bridgend County Borough. The primary role is safeguarding which will include an element of investigation as they seek to build intelligence opportunities and build rapport with individuals at risk of going missing.
The team aim to reduce cases by working with partner agencies to identify the root cause of the problem. The team also attends strategy meetings with partner agencies to work out how best to support the individuals and ensure their safeguarding.
In relation to Child Sexual Exploitation, or CSE, the team will work closely with victims of child sexual exploitation to provide them with support.
The team liaise with social services and other external agencies with a three pronged approach in the prevention of child sexual exploitation. The team manage the ongoing cases and access necessary aftercare for victims and their families.
The Domestic Abuse Unit, or DAU, safeguard victims of domestic violence and their families throughout Bridgend County Borough. The team receive an average of 20-40 reports of domestic violence every 24 hours. This is as well as external referrals from other agencies.
The DAU implement safeguarding measures for victims of domestic abuse. The team risk assess Police Protection Notices, or PPNs, and external referrals. The referrals are categorised as high, medium or standard.
This information is shared with other agencies and appropriate safeguarding measures are applied.
Other duties include:
- Victim contact
- Solo and joint visits with partner agencies
- Obtaining statements and encouraging positive action
- Safeguarding advice and implementation to all levels of domestic violence risk
- Liaison with police investigation teams and attending officers
- Quality assurance of safeguarding during police investigations and attendance at incidents
- Implement or maintain domestic abuse policies, procedures and strategies and offer guidance to non-experts
- Specialists in: honour based violence, female genital mutilation, C&C behaviour, stalking and harassment
- Clare’s law disclosures
- Disclosure preparation for probation
- Issuing of TecSOS alarms
- Police watch
- Court disclosures
- Maintenance of critical register markers and flags
- Continuous review of risk of all victims and actions that arise out of identified risk
- DS/DI chair daily discussions and multi-agency risk assessment conference
If you have any safeguarding concerns, or need to contact the Bridgend MASH, please contact:
South Wales Police MASH Staff (PPU)
Phone: 01656 815808
Safeguarding Adults Team
Phone: 01656 642477
Information, Advice and Assistance (IAA) Team (Children)
Phone: 01656 642320
Phone: 01565 815523
Website: Bridgend Early Help Services