Skip to main content
New

This is a new website - we welcome your feedback to help us improve it.

Children's Services privacy notice

Find out how Westminster City Council Children’s Services collect and use personal information about you and your family.

Published on: 29 December 2020

Last updated: 29 December 2020

Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

About MASH

The Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is made up of representatives from children’s social care co-located with professionals from the Met Police and the NHS. The MASH also has virtual links with other partner agencies such as education, housing, probation, the youth offending team and the UK Boarder Agency. If there are any other agencies working with a family, for example domestic violence services, alcohol and drug services, or another relevant agency the MASH may contact these agencies for information.

The purpose of the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is to improve the quality of information that is shared between professionals in order to make timely and informed decisions about risk based on accurate and up to date information. The MASH sits separate but alongside the front door services in each respective local authority. The “front door” refers to the separate teams that each local authority has to receive referrals when there are worries about a child. The MASH is able to provide a brief risk assessment and recommendation to the front door services in Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster. This is to assist in improving the quality of safeguarding decisions for children and their families in order to provide them with the most appropriate support and services as soon as possible. 

The MASH processes personal and sensitive information in relation to child sexual exploitation (CSE) data collection, recording and sharing in order to:

  • to identify areas where development or a different approach is required
  • to find and implement risk assessed improvements
  • to streamline data collection and sharing amongst key stakeholders of MASE

This includes the Multi Agency Sexual Exploitation (MASE) panel which is a multiagency, cross borough collaboration between Westminster City Council (WCC), The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC), London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF) and police, to capture and tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE) and safeguard children who are at risk of it.  

We may collect information from the following agencies either by email, face to face meetings and within electronic forms.

Personal demographic information, for example your name, address, gender, date of birth, ethnicity, and relationships may be collected.

MASH may request multiagency information from relevant agencies including: health, education, police, probation, the youth offending team, the UK Border Agency, and any relevant agency known to be working with the family who will provide information regarding a child/parent/carer relevant to safeguarding. This information is used for MASH risk assessment purposes only and is not to be used for subsequent assessments outside the MASH. Not all agencies are contacted, each situation is considered individually, and only relevant and proportionate checks are undertaken.

Some of the agencies we may contact are:

Health

we may collect information from your child's GP or other health organisations, including: health visitors, school nurses and the child and adolescent mental health team. Only relevant information will be shared as a way of understanding whether an offer of support to you or your family is required.

Education

We may contact your child’s school for information about their education. We may ask about their school attendance, academic achievement and whether there are any concerns about their wellbeing. Only relevant information about your child will be shared as a way of understanding whether an offer of support to you and your family needs to occur.

Police

We may request information from the police when making our enquiries. The police will check whether individuals in the family have previously been in contact them. They will share any relevant information with children’s services as a way of understanding whether an offer of support to you and your family needs to occur.  

Probation 

We may request information from the probation service if tf they are supporting you or your family. We will ask why probation is involved, what support they are providing and whether they believe there to be any risks posed to children by the individual known to them. Only relevant information will be shared as a way of understanding your family’s circumstances and whether additional support is needed.

Youth Offending Team (YOT)

We may request information from the Youth Offending Team if they are supporting your family. If a young person is known to the YOT, we will ask why they are involved, what support they are providing and if they believe there to be any risks posed to the young person or to other members of the family. Only relevant information will be shared as a way of understanding your family circumstances and whether additional support is needed.

UK Border Agency (UKBA)

We may request information from the UKBA if we have reason to believe that you or family have a pending application with the Home Office. If the information is relevant, children’s services will use this information to better understand your family’s circumstances and whether an offer of support needs to occur.

Who we share the information with

The nature of the information that will be shared will often fall below a statutory threshold of S.47 (child protection investigation) or even S.17 Children Act 1989 (Child in Need). If they do fall within these sections of the 1989 Act, then these will be the main legal gateway. However, in addition the London Child Protection Procedures provide guidance and a legal gateway to share without agreement/consent under ‘legal obligation’ or public task.

Sections 10 and 11 of the Children Act 2004 place obligations upon the police, local authorities, NHS bodies and others to co-operate with other relevant partners in promoting the welfare of children and ensuring that their functions are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. This piece of legislation gives the statutory power to share information for the purposes of this agreement. 

The MASH brings together all of the information received in a brief risk assessment, analysis and recommendation about what happens next. The MASH may recommend that no further action is taken or may signpost you to community supports. If further social work support is required, the risk assessment, analysis and recommendations are shared with the relevant front door teams in Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster. The "front Door” refers to the separate teams that each local authority has to receive referrals when there are worries about a child.    

The information provided by partner agencies is generally a brief snapshot of the current situation and if social work assessments are required, it is expected that updating information is obtained first hand by the assessing social worker. The information provided by MASH partners is for immediate risk assessment purposes only and is not used for any subsequent assessments outside the MASH process.

How long will we keep your information? 

We will only keep your personal information in accordance with the formalised council retention schedule to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements. Once your personal information is no longer required it will be securely deleted. 

We may also anonymize some personal data you provide to us to ensure that you cannot be identified and use this data to allow the council to effectively target and plan the provision of services.

Your rights and access to your information 

You have the right to request a copy of the information that we hold about you. Data must be processed lawfully and fairly in a transparent manner. 

The new Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA’18) also gives you additional rights that refer to how the council holds and uses your information. 

Consequently, under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:

  • object to and restrict further processing of your data; however, this may affect service delivery to you
  • request to have your data deleted where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing and provided that there are no legitimate grounds for retaining it
  • request your data to be rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  • have your data transferred or copied should you move to another authority
  • not be subject to automated decision-making including profiling

Information about how to submit a subject access request can be found on the RBKC website.

Please visit our web pages for further details on how the council complies with the new DPA’18 .

For further information on how we comply with the new DPA'18 please read our data protection notice.

If you have any concerns 

Please contact us if you would like to know more about the information we hold about you and how we use it:

email: [email protected]

phone: 0207 641 4000

You have a right to complain if you think we have not complied with our obligation for handling your personal information. Please email: [email protected]

If you are not satisfied with the council’s response you have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). You can report a concern by visiting the ICO website.

Changes in your circumstances

You must notify us immediately if there are any changes in your circumstances and personal details in order for us to maintain an accurate and up to date record of your information.