Merton Council

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How does the MASH process work?

When the MASH receives a contact, the MASH screening officers first check if the child already has a social worker.

If there is an allocated social worker, they are considered to be the best person to support the child, so the case is referred directly to them.

If there is no social worker, then the MASH screening officers assess the level of risk. The MASH manager confirms the risk level with a BRAG rating (BRAG definitions).

If the rating is Blue then the contact is directed to a Universal service, or closed with no further action.

If it is Amber or Green, the contact is passed to the MASH navigators.

If it is Red, the contact is passed to both the MASH navigators and the First Response team at the same time, so they can start an assessment immediately.

Next, the navigators research and share information about the child. The MASH manager may change the BRAG rating as new information comes to light.

The MASH manager uses the collected information to decide the best response to meet the child’s needs. The manager may:

  • Refer the case to the First Response team (or leave it with them, if they’ve already started their assessment);
  • Refer the case to another social work team, a multi-disciplinary team, or a Universal service; or
  • Close the case with no further action.

The service that receives the case will receive a summary of any appropriate information gathered by the MASH.

MASH BRAG rating definitions

  • Red: There is a potential child protection issue (e.g. serious injury to the child).
    Requires immediate action, and information from MASH navigators is expected within 2 hours.
  • Amber: There are significant concerns but immediate action is not required (e.g. ongoing domestic violence issues in the household).
    Requires information from MASH navigators within 6 hours.
  • Green: There are concerns regarding a child’s wellbeing but these do not meet statutory requirements (e.g. poor school attendance).
    Requires information from selected MASH navigators within 24 hours.
  • Blue: There is no safeguarding concern and the issue can be dealt with by a Universal service.
    No MASH response required. Advice or referral to a Universal service may be provided.

Contact us


12th Floor, Merton Civic Centre
London Road, Morden


020 8545 4226 or
020 8545 4227 or
020 8770 5000 (out of hours)
020 8545 4204 (fax)

This page was last updated on Tuesday 8 April 2014

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