Safeguarding Agencies

The Devon Children and Families Partnership

Children in Devon are best safeguarded when key agencies work together effectively. The Devon Children and Families Partnership (DCFP) is designed to help make this happen.

DCPF aim to make sure that children and families can get the right support, in the right place at the right time.

This details how:

  • we will work together to identify and respond to the needs of children in the area
  • we will commission and publish local child safeguarding practice review
  • make sure the effectiveness of the arrangements are independently scrutinised.

The Devon Children and Families Partnership

Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) in Devon

The Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is the central resource for the whole of Devon receiving all safeguarding and child protection enquiries.

It is staffed with professionals from a range of agencies including police, health, mental health, education, social care, housing, probation, early years, youth offending, fire, and domestic abuse services.

These professionals share information to ensure early identification of potential significant harm, and trigger interventions to prevent further harm or to safeguard children’s welfare.

MASH staff gather and review information from a range of agencies and use this to decide the most appropriate way to support a family and ensure the needs of children are met.

Where appropriate, the MASH team is able to immediately trigger a response, the emphasis being on interventions to the child or young person and their family to prevent harm.

Working together in this way ensures that the agencies are sharing information and are able to respond to a child’s needs quickly and efficiently.

The MASH method has resulted in more effective and earlier identification of vulnerable children. It has avoided unnecessary duplication and visits, and simplified processes. It has also improved communication between professionals.

The MASH 4 key principles

  • Children are best brought up in families, with local support when needed.
  • We support families to find their own solutions, building on strengths and finding solutions to whatever difficulties they are confronting to be resilient, improve family life and increase opportunities for their children.
  • Children who need protection will receive it; wherever possible, early help will prevent the need for statutory intervention in family life.
  • Timely permanent arrangements will be secured for children who can’t be brought up in their birth family.

When to contact The MASH

If you are worried about a child or young person in Devon and want to speak to someone, or if you are a child or young person worried about your own safety please contact the MASH on 0345 155 1071 or email and give as much information as you can.

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