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Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

MASH is a multi-agency team which identifies risks to vulnerable children.


If an immediate response from Children’s Social Care is necessary, call 0345 050 7666If you have an urgent concern for a child call 999 or 101.

This page is for professionals only to make children's social care referrals. If you are a member of the public with a concern for a child call 0345 050 7666 or use this form.

The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) enables the sharing of information between services so risks to children can be identified at an early stage.

It is a link between schools, GPs, the police, ambulance service and social care.

MASH is a partnership between Oxford City Council. Oxfordshire County Council, Thames Valley Police, The National Probation Service, NHS health services, South Central Ambulance Service and Drug and Alcohol Services.

Before making a children's social care referral

Before you complete a MASH referral form you must have read the Threshold of needs (pdf format) in reference to the case.

You will need to have:

  • decided the level of risk related to the case

  • determined it to be level 3 or 4

  • inform the parents or carers using the MASH leaflet (pdf format, 154Kb) (unless informing parents/carers may increase the risk).
  • consider if the child or young person’s needs can be met by services from within your own agency, or by other professionals involved with the family already

Change of process

Unless your referral indicates an immediate risk of or actual significant harm we request that you have completed and upload a copy of a strengths and needs form is also uploaded.

It is required as part of decision-making along with information about what universal and early help support has been offered/taken up to support families. 

The referral now includes a link to the Strengths & Needs form, this is also the link for you to access this Early Help and the Locality Community Support Service (LCSS) - Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board (oscb.org.uk)

If your referral does not indicate immediate risk of, or actual significant harm you must complete the strengths and needs form to enable further exploration of the concerns/support needed as an alternative to a safeguarding referral.  

Help to complete the form

If you need support with completing the strengths and needs form our Locality and Community Support Service can help.

How to make a referral

Use the online form to make a referral to the team. If your concerns are urgent and are a level 4 please call 0345 050 7666. This call will be taken in our Customer Service Centre who will direct your call.

You will be able to download a PDF copy of the form once you've submitted it. But if you close your browser window that option will disappear.

The form will take around 20 minutes to complete.

Complete a children's social care referral form

 Also known as the MASH form.

Problems with the form

If you have problems completing the form call 0345 050 7666.

New safeguarding calls are directed to our Customer Service Centre, who signpost the correct calls to the MASH. Any calls deemed inappropriate to transfer to the MASH will be directed to the relevant service.

Next steps

Your referral will be assessed using the threshold matrix and any information held about the child and family to decide next steps.

We will make contact with the family/child to ensure a safe and appropriate outcome 

In either case we will get back to you about the outcome.

Time scale

We aim to make an immediate response to the most urgent cases. For cases assessed as having lower-level concerns, it may take up to five working days to make an informed decision as to the most appropriate service required. We aim to review all enquiries immediately upon receipt, but this is not always possible. Online referrals will not be seen until the next working day. 

The MASH opening hours are:

  • Monday to Thursday: 8.30am – 5pm 
  • Friday: 8.30am – 4pm.

The out-of-hours Emergency Duty Team EDT (for emergencies only) can be contacted on 0800 833408.

Named consultations

Professionals may call the Locality and Community Support Service for a discussion (named consultation).

Information sharing

To ensure we have a good understanding of the issues raised, we may request relevant information from our partner agencies; we also have a statutory duty, if required, to share information with partner agencies who might include:

  • Police
  • GP/Other NHS Services
  • Drug and Alcohol Services
  • Education
  • Any other relevant services that you may be involved with.