RELEVANT PROCEDURES AND GUIDANCE
This chapter should be read in conjunction with:
Single Point of Access Protocol - this protocol includes the full MASH procedures.
The chart setting out the Response to Notifications of Domestic Abuse in the Local Resources.
In August 2017, this chapter was updated throughout to bring it in line with the Single Point of Access Protocol and should be reread.
1. Initial Contacts - The Single Point of Access Team
The Single Point of Access Team (SPA) is the front door to accessing the statutory services of Children's Services. All contacts in relation to children living in Dudley are screened for safeguarding concerns and recorded on Child Care Management (CCM), the electronic recording system for Children's Services.
Anyone can contact the SPA if:
- They are seeking additional support for a family or child; or
- They think that the Local Authority can assist or support a family or child in a difficult phase of their life; or
- They are worried about a child or have safeguarding concerns for a child.
The protocol setting out how the Single Point of Contact functions is in the Local Resources.
All contacts will be considered alongside the Early Help Framework and Threshold Document - Dudley's Thresholds Framework.
The possible outcomes of a child contact are:
- Referral to Children's Services: strategy discussion;
- Referral to Children's Services: S17 (Child in Need) assessment;
- Referral to early help;
- Needs met by universal services.
2. Referrals to Children's Services
If there any child protection concerns, the SPA Social Worker will have an immediate discussion with the MASH manager to decide whether the threshold for a Strategy Discussion is reached. The procedures for the MASH are in the Single Point of Contact Protocol, and summary information is available on the Dudley Safeguarding website.
If it is decided that the case meets level 4 of Dudley's Threshold Framework without raising child protection concerns, responsibility will be passed to the relevant Assessment Team. Where the contact relates to a case that is known, but closed:
- If responsibility was previously held by an Assessment Team, and the case was closed within one month of the current contact, that team will resume responsibility;
- If responsibility was previously held by a Care Management Team, and the case was closed within three months of the current contact, that team will resume responsibility.