Providing children and family services - how we work

How we work, processes, information for professionals and partners, think family and district early help


Information for parents and families can be found on our accessing support  or child protection pages. This page is aimed at professionals and agencies, although parents and families may find this detailed information useful. 

The Integrated Front Door (IFD) is the single point of entry for all notifications regarding safeguarding and request for Early Help services. The Integrated Front Door consists of the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub and the Early Help Hub.

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

MASH is the point of contact for all safeguarding concerns regarding children and young people. It brings together expert professionals called ‘Navigators’ from services that have contact with children, young people and families and makes the best possible use of their combined knowledge to keep children safe from harm.

It does this by:

  • Researching information held on professional data bases
  • Providing a secure and confidential environment for professionals to share information
  • Identifying low level repeat referrals which taken in isolation may not appear concerning
  • Prioritising referrals using a BRAG (Blue, Red, Amber, Green,) rating
  • Activating ‘child protection social work services which sit alongside MASH to provide immediate protection for a child.

Referral form and email to: MASH.C&[email protected]
Telephone: 0345 045 1362 (office hours)    01733 234 724 (out of hours)

The following teams sit in the MASH.

First Response is a single agency child protection team whose sole responsibility is to undertake child protection investigations and assessments on new referrals. The Team   shares an integrated resource base with the MASH Team. The focus of the team is narrow to ensure effective and timely child protection interventions. 

Emergency Duty Team provides an out of hour’s emergency social work and Adult Mental Health service across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire for children and adults services.

The unit is managed by the CSE / Missing co-ordinator and there are four full-time MET workers. The MET unit will be responsible for: 

  • Daily reviewing of all missing / CSE notifications
  • Populating the missing / CSE tracker
  • Ensuring that all CSE / missing notifications receive the most appropriate response and are redirected where necessary
  • Participating in strategy discussions regarding suspected / identified CSE
  • Acting as the point of contact for police and other professionals in respect of CSE and children who are missing
  • Providing consultation to social work units and localities
  • Undertaking all return home interviews for children from Cambridgeshire who go missing from home or care. The interviews will be completed within 72 hrs of the child or young person’s return home.
  • Following up of return interviews, collating themes, issues and concerns
  • The unit will also provide direct work for children and young people who are at risk from child sexual exploitation.
  • The unit will provide Monday – Saturday cover to ensure that young people are seen and engaged with in a flexible and timely manner

Cambridgeshire IDVA Service is a team of Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs), who provide an independent service offering crisis intervention and support to victims and survivors of domestic abuse. Crisis support is defined as being short-term following a reported incident of abuse.

The IDVA team are employed by Cambridgeshire County Council and based at Cambridgeshire’s Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). Referrals into the service originate primarily from Police and in addition other partner services.

The IDVA team work across the county, in addition, there are externally funded IDVA’s for:

  • Young people 13-19 years.
  • Victims and survivors from Eastern European A8 countries.
  • Victims and survivors whose referrals come from Addenbrookes and Hinchingbrooke Hospital Services.

IDVA’s are able to:

  • Talk through clients’ options and give information to help them make decisions.
  • Advocate with other partner services on behalf of their clients.
  • Assist with personal safety planning for clients and their children in order to reduce risk.
  • Support clients through the civil and criminal justice system.
  • Support/options given regarding housing and alternative safe accommodation.
  • Provide emotional support.
  • Support is available via telephone or by appointment in a face-to-face meeting.
  • Clients can only be referred with their consent and contact takes place at safe times and in safe locations

Early Help Hub

The Early Help Hub is a point of contact where access to targeted early help services in Cambridgeshire is coordinated. The Early Help assessment is used for all early help requests and will result in one of the following within 48 hours of receipt:

Email: [email protected] 
Telephone: 01480 376 666 (office hours)

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