In this section
Professional workers with concerns
If you are a professional or a volunteer who comes into contact with children as part of your work, you have a statutory duty to safeguard children and report any allegations or concerns about their welfare or safety. Similarly, if you have identified a child or young person who could benefit from a service or needs help and support, you have a responsibility to pass this information on to the relevant agency.
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Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
Is part of Knowsley Borough Council’s Children and Families Service.
The MASH provides a ‘first point of contact’ for Early Help and Children’s Social Care (CSC) enabling members of the public and professionals to raise concerns about the safety and welfare of Children. This may include Children identified as potentially being in need of support or as being at risk of suffering abuse.
Operates between 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday and can be contacted via email or by dialling 0151 443 2600. Members of the public should always make contact by telephone.
MASH is a multi-agency Team that work together in the same building. Some of the agencies represented in the MASH are Adult Social Care, Children’s Social Care, Health, Housing and the Police. Agencies work together with the Early Help Team and Children’s Social Care to provide information around cases and help make the best decisions around a child’s welfare and safety.
Professionals who work with children and who need to raise a concern should use the MARF(Multi Agency Referral Form) link to document. The form should be emailed to the MASH team when it is completed. If there is any sense of urgency in respect of the concern being raised the form should be sent followed by a phone call to MASH in order to highlight the urgency of the case. If you need help in respect of filling in the form you can also give the MASH a call for advice.
If you contact MASH by telephone you will be asked as series of questions when making a referral to MASH, this is to ensure as much information as possible can be gained to support what level of need is identified and action required by whom. If you are a practitioner or other professional that works with children you will also be asked to complete a Multi Agency Referral Form. Members of the public should not use this form and should always make contact by telephone.
There is no pre-requisite to complete a Early Help Assessment (EHA) before referring to Children’s Social Care. If a EHA has been completed at the point of referral this should be sent with the MARF or sent separately if the referral is received via a telephone call.
At all other times the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) acts as the ‘first point of contact’ for Children’s Social Care. EDT can be contacted using the same number as the MASH – 0151 443 2600. EDT will only respond to Emergencies that cannot wait until the next working day. This is usually circumstances where there are immediate concerns regarding the welfare or safety of Children or there is a risk of family breakdown and the Child are being placed in ‘care’.
Please note if you believe a child or young person is at immediate risk, you should contact the police urgently, CALL 999 EMERGENCY.
Knowsley Young Carers Service
The Young Carers Team supports young people aged 6 to 18 years who are caring for a family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support. Young Carers often take on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult.
In partnership with Knowsley Youth Mutual, we take a whole family approach to assess and support carers providing support wherever possible. This may include a trip or activity to provide peer support or a one to one chat with trained workers. We support families to ensure that they receive a full package of help that they require, making sure all of the relevant services are involved. This helps to ensure the young carers do not need to take on inappropriate levels of care that could be detrimental to their own health and wellbeing.
The young carer assessment is child friendly and easily accessible and incorporates many elements of All About Me. Assessments often provide considerable insight into not only the wishes and feelings of children but also their perceptions, which can improve and inform current support plans.
All answers must be YES to meet the criteria for the young person:
- Young person aged between 6-18 years old
- Lives in Knowsley Borough
- Is aware of the referral, and parent/guardian consent has been given
- Cares for a family member(parent/sibling/other relative)
- Complete referral form
- The external form should only be used by parents/guardians OR professionals who do not have access to EHM (Early Help Module) System. An internal referral can be made via EHM and is the preferred method to refer a child to the Young Carers Service.
- All external referral forms are to be completed and sent via SECURE email to EHT@KNOWSLEY.GCSX.GOV.UK. Please ensure the email title states Young Carers Referral Form so the form can be forwarded to the correct team.
- A referral by parents/guardians can be made via telephone on 0151 443 5059 or 0151 443 2336. Please request to speak to Mike Kehoe or Chris Wong if you are making a referral.
- Once a referral is made, the assessment worker Mike Kehoe will contact the referrer and family to arrange a home visit.
- The assessment will consider whether the young person is a young carer and a support plan would be created.
Early Help Team
- Supports agencies in a practical way by providing information on services and interventions in Knowsley and neighbouring boroughs, providing advice and guidance on Early Help Assessment processes (previously known as the Common Assessment Framework CAF) and procedures and facilitating multi-agency meetings.
- Is the point of contact for cases that do not meet current Children’s Social Care threshold or where an appropriate agency has not been identified which can support the needs of the child and their family.
- Maintains an overview of which families are being supported by agencies.
- Provides information advice and guidance to practitioners when considering how to best assess a child’s needs.
- Supports professionals to embed processes and systems of integrated working in their agencies.
- Maintains the development of an accurate and up to date Family Information Service.
- Supports the effectiveness of and co-ordination of multi agency meetings.
- Assures the quality of assessments in the Borough (Early Help Assessments).
- Works with commissioners to identify gaps in service.
Please call 0151 443 2600 if you need to discuss a referral or 0151 443 2670 if you need to speak to a Case Manager.
Family First 0-18
- Is one of the key resources delivering interventions to families with complex, interacting needs in line with Knowsley Family Policy, the national Troubled Families agenda and the Early Help Strategy.
- The core offer of the service is the co-ordination and delivery of multi-agency interventions, based on whole family assessment and action planning to helping families achieve positive outcomes for themselves while reducing the likelihood of escalation to high cost, statutory, crisis intervention services such as Children’s Social Care.
- Referrals can be made to the service from any source when outcomes for children are compromised by issues affecting parents and carers such as Domestic Abuse, Substance Misuse, Mental Health, Crime & Anti-Social Behaviour.
Families engaging with the service can expect a wide range of support either delivered directly by Family First 0-18 or through co-ordinated partnership.
Please call 0151 443 2600 if you need to discuss a referral or 0151 443 2670 if you need to speak to a Case Manager
The Early Help Assessment Framework (EHAF)
The Early Help Assessment for children and families (EHAF) is a shared, whole family, assessment tool used across Knowsley by agencies providing targeted family support at Levels 2 & 3 on the Knowsley Continuum of Need Framework. It can help professionals develop a shared understanding of the needs of children and their families, so they can be met in a more effective and coordinated fashion. It will avoid children and families having to tell and re-tell their story many times.
The EHAF is an important tool for services delivering early help support in Knowsley and it has been designed, in collaboration with key partners, to help professionals assess family needs at an earlier stage and then work alongside families and other agencies, to meet them.
The underlying principles of EHAF model are:
- Children’s needs and outcomes must come first and their ‘voice’ must be listened to.
- Children’s welfare is everyone’s responsibility.
- All organisations must work together for the benefit of families so that they can effectively support and nurture their children.
- The parents’/carers’ needs and rights must be considered and inform their ‘voice’ should also inform the nature of the support.
- The EHAF should be ‘owned’ and driven by the child and their family.
What does the EHAF consist of:
- An assessment and planning tool embedded within the Early Help (IT) Module which will be available to partners so they can tackle issues themselves and/or refer to the most appropriate level of support in a safe and consistent.
- In promoting a Team Around the Family (TAF) approach, the assessment tool will consider the needs of the whole family. It is solution focused, forward looking and will allow professionals and families to demonstrate improvement and distance travelled over time through regular review and feedback.
- Partners will be able call on the support of the Family First Service to assist and advise upon the use of the tool, the Early Help Module, the Lead Professional role and the Team Around the Family approach.
The Early Help Assessment Model sets out the Early Help Assessment Framework procedures operating in the borough, gives helpful case studies and sets out useful information on the role of the Lead Professional. For more information or support regarding Knowsley’s model, the Early Help Process, the Early Help Document itself or Early Help Reviews, contact the Early Help Team.
If you think a child is missing from home or local authority care, you should call Merseyside Police on 101 (24-hour non-emergency number).
If the missing child is the subject of a care order, or is looked after by Knowsley Council, you should also inform the child’s social worker. If it is outside of normal office hours contact the Emergency Duty Team on 0151 443 5900 .
If you are a parent you must inform the police, or where appropriate Children’s Social Care, when your child goes missing. Failure to do so could be considered a child protection issue.
If you are a young person, or a parent who is worried about something which has happened online, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) can help you. CEOP provides help and advice and the option to report any instance of sexual contact or harmful material.
If you are in immediate danger or want urgent help call 999 or call Merseyside Police by dialing 101 (24-hour non-emergency number).
If you are worried about a child’s safety or well-being you can also get help, advice and support by calling the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000