Information for parents and carers about the MASH
What is the MASH?
How does the MASH use information about children and families?
The Data Protection Act governs how the MASH gathers information about children and families as part of its duty to support families and protect children. The team can:
only hold information that we need to help families
only use the information for that reason
make sure the information we hold is accurate
keep the information only for as long as it is needed
only share information with other agencies with your consent unless your child is at risk of harm or we must report a serious crime
keep the information secure at all times.
Any information shared is used to protect and promote the welfare of children and will not be used for any other purpose. Information held by the MASH will be kept secure and will only be shared with agencies working with your family, such as social or health workers.
If professionals are referring your child to the MASH for support, they will need to ask your permission first. If they are referring your child to the MASH because they are concerned your child is at risk of harm, they will still seek your consent unless they believe this will put your child at further risk. In both cases they will let you know about the referral unless they believe this may put your child at more risk.
When your family is referred to another service, only the relevant information will be passed on. A MASH social worker will explain to you what information is being passed on and why. We will only refer you to another agency with your permission unless your child is at risk.
A member of the MASH or the professional who referred your child will contact you to let you know the outcome of any MASH enquiry once a decision has been made.
If you are unhappy with the way the MASH deals with a referral about your family, you can raise this with the MASH manager. They will explain why the information was shared and how decisions on your case were made.
If you are still not happy, you can make a complaint using our complaints system or you can contact the Information Commissioner if you are concerned about the way we have shared your information.