SW referrals to MASH

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N1-Grampy
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2021 1:09 pm

SW referrals to MASH

Post by N1-Grampy » Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:11 pm

Hello all,
Writing on behalf of our daughter-in-law who has on and off lived with me and my wife (paternal grandparents). D-I-L is now separated from our son who is expecting a baby with his new partner. D-I-L still ensures we see our grandson regularly and has been bringing him round to the window throughout COVID for a wave with my wife. Everything is amicable and joint custody arrangements appear satisfactory to all.

I am trying to support DIL with is some treatment she has faced by a Social Worker.

A referral was made to a team called MASH. A SW told the referrer no evidence of risk of harm and no role for a SW. This is logged in the records.
However after this, the SW got on the phone to DIL pretending she was doing an 'assessment' and stating there were 'serious safeguarding concerns'. She did not inform DIL that the concerns raised did not meet threshold and that she didn't feel there was a risk of harm. My DIL had a little chat with the SW (telephone call) with both myself and my son in the room. It was very uncomfortable as the SW appeared to be interrogating my DIL who was left very distressed afterwards. The call ended with the SW saying n.f.a. no threshold met for social work involvement.
Despite telling us and the referrer it was n.f.a, the SW got off the phone and started running background checks on my DIL and my son. Checking old addresses and health records etc. She did not tell DIL about this or seek permission.
As you can imagine the family have found this invasive and can't understand why this is being done if the referral was closed n.f.a.

I am trying to find out what rules are around the SW being honest with people about what she is doing ie. scaring my DIL that there were serious safeguarding concerns and duping her into a telephone call when she had already logged n.f.a. As well as running checks with other agencies on a n.f.a.
Trying to help DIL word a complaint to the Local Authority but it is hard to assist when I don't understand the rules myself.
Many thanks in advance for any words of advice.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 3015
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: SW referrals to MASH

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:43 pm

Dear NI Grampy

Welcome to the discussion forum and thank you for posting.

I see that you are concerned about the treatment your daughter-in-law received from the social worker dealing with her case. You say that a referral was made to the MASH team, this suggests that a professional considered that there were safeguarding concerns relating to your daughter-in-law’s child or children.

A Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) comprises several professionals who will consider and referral and make decisions about the best way to help a family. The family should be kept informed, and consent obtained, if a child or children, would not be at risk in doing so, to share information.

If a decision was made by MASH not to refer to children’s services for further assessment, then it is not entirely clear why a social worker would be carrying out an assessment. Your daughter in law should contact the MASH manager to find out the exact decision made. It may be that although there are no safeguarding issue in requiring child protection, it was decided that there should be an assessment to provide support. This could be a child in need assessment. In all situations, the social worker should inform the parent what assessment is being done and why.

The social worker should work with a family in an open and transparent way and explain what action is being taken and why.

I understand from your post that your daughter in law had a negative experience with the social worker and I suggest that contact is made with the social worker’s team manager for an explanation about the case and the reason for the assessment. It is usual for checks to be carried out to ensure that the appropriate steps are taken before a case is closed.

Should your daughter in law wish to make a formal complaint about how the case was handled, the she can find the complaints policy for children’s services on the local authority’s website or ask the social worker for a copy.

You may find this information in the link below about children’s services from our website helpful.

https://frg.org.uk/get-help-and-advice/ ... -services/

I hope this will give you the information you need about procedures children’s services should follow when they become involved with a family.

Best wishes

Suzie

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