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Flag a concern

The Early Help Strategy talks about identifying vulnerable families early and working together across agencies to support children and families. In order to further strengthen multi-agency working and early identification of families, practitioners are able to flag a concern.

‘Flagging a concern’ enables services to speak to the MASH Early Help Coordinators and add a note to the system to indicate that your service holds a piece of information about that child or family. You can 'flag' if you have a non-safeguarding concern about a child. Consent from the family will not be required; no details of the concern will be recorded. Each ‘flag’ will prompt a review of the child’s circumstances by the Local Area Team and as a minimum standard, follow up action will be taken if three flags are logged.

You do not need consent to add a flag to the system, but best practice is to discuss any issues with the parents or carers first, and we would always encourage you to do so.

When flagging a concern, you will be asked to confirm the following:

  • The referrer confirms that, at this time, they do not feel an immediate referral to/response from Children’s Social Care is needed.
  • The referrer feels it is appropriate to flag a concern against this young person for the information of future involved services or in case of other similar concerns being raised.
  • The referrer confirmed that they aware that The Local Area Team will not be actively responding to this information or storing any of the details of the concern.
  • The referrer understands that The Local Area Team can share their details with other relevant services who can then contact the referrer, so the relevant information can be shared between professionals if it is best to do so in the interest of the young person to do so.
  • The referrer understands it is their responsibility to hold this information securely and share it with future enquirers in accordance with their own information sharing protocols.

Where a young person’s record has multiple flags, the Local Area Team will put the practitioners who flagged a concern in touch with each other. This is so that they can discuss their concerns and identify whether a young person or family are in need of further support.

If you would like to flag a concern, contact the MASH Early Help Coordinators on 01904 551900, option 2. Please note, the team do not accept flags by email, you will need to call and speak to a member of the team in order to flag a concern.