Referring a child to children's social care | Oxfordshire County Council

Referring a child to children's social care

This form - known as the MASH form, is for professionals to refer children to social care services.

If you are a member of the public seeking to report a concern, use this form.

Assessment of needs

You will need to have access to the Oxfordshire threshold of needs matrix to complete this form.

Check all the data entered as you cannot save or print the form. To comply with our data protection policy, we cannot give you a copy of your completed form on submission. 

This is a long form which will take at least 20 minutes to complete. If you wish to check whether you have all the information you need at the outset, please download the list of questions you will be asked (pdf format, 22Kb)

We are looking into a rare report that a recent form failed to submit. While we are investigating this, please email us separately to check that your form has successfully been submitted.‚Äč


If you are completing the form for the first time

Who should use the form

The form should only be used by professionals to make new enquiries. Please note that if your enquiry is urgent, please back your enquiry up with a phone call to make the MASH team aware at 0345 050 7666.

Before using the form

Assessing need

Before reporting a safeguarding concern you need to consider if the child or young person’s needs can be met by services from within your own agency, or by other professionals already involved with the family. You can contact the early intervention team for referral to early help services, or for support regarding the Common Assessment or Team Around the Child processes.

We know that it is sometimes difficult to decide the appropriate point of intervention. To help you to determine levels of need when making your own assessment we have developed the Oxford Threshold of Needs Matrix.

Getting consent

Before reporting a concern you should always get the consent of the parents or carers, except where a child is considered to be at risk of harm and you believe that seeking parental consent may increase this risk. Download the MASH leaflet for parents and carers (pdf format, 154Kb). The leaflet advises parents of the purpose of the MASH, how and why multi agency information is shared and how they can request a copy of their child’s MASH safeguarding concern. A copy of the leaflet should be given to parents prior to submitting a children’s safeguarding concern to the MASH, unless by doing so would put a child or adult at risk of harm.

If you are unsure about thresholds or seeking consent seek advice from your line manager.

Securely emailing the team

Email correspondence (not MASH Enquiries) can be sent to the secure MASH email address - Please note, if your email includes confidential client data of any kind, you will need to ensure that you are also sending from a secure PSN email account or by using the Egress Switch system. If you are in doubt as to the security level of your own email, please speak to your IT department.

How calls will be dealt with

  1. New safeguarding calls will be directed to Oxfordshire County Council’s Customer Service Centre, who will signpost the correct calls to the MASH.
  2. Any calls deemed inappropriate to transfer to the MASH will be directed to the relevant service.
  3. In the MASH, a new dynamic process of risk assessing cases will be in operation. This means that the MASH will make an immediate response for the most urgent cases. For cases assessed as having lower level concerns, it may take up to three working days, to make an informed decision as to the most appropriate service required.

No-names consultations

In the first instance, workers should call the locality link worker to complete a consultation. If unavailable, the caller should contact the senior locality practitioner. Professionals should only contact the MASH when locality workers are unavailable.

Last reviewed
27 October 2016
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