Discuss with the person

It is vital that you respond to and talk with the child or adult who tells you something is the matter, or if you see something wrong. You should not ask too many, or leading questions, but should find out enough information to make an enquiry to the MASH.
In the event of actual injury, it may be necessary to arrange for the child to get any urgently required medical treatment. In any event, spend time talking to the child to find out what has happened, to reassure them and to comfort them, as appropriate.

If a child tells you that they have been abused, or you think they may have been, you should try to establish the basic facts before making an enquiry. The initial fact finding should not influence what the child says.

You should look to gather as much of the following information before making an enquiry:

When making an enquiry to the MASH team by phone, for a child in imminent danger, you should ask for the name of the person you are speaking to and keep a record of this.

Points to consider when making a referral

It will help if you consider:

  • why you think it is necessary to discuss the matter at the MASH
  • what information you can give them about the child's world
  • what the child is receiving to grow and develop,
  • what the child needs from the people who look after him or her
  • what this child needs from their wider world
  • how you will remain involved with the family
  • what you want other services to do.

It is important that you make your enquiry as soon as you are aware that this is the best course of action.

Avoid "how" and "why" questions.

To establishDo ask...Don't ask...
WhatWhat happened?Did she or he...?
WhereWhere did it happen?Did it happen in the bedroom?
WhoWho did it?Did the babysitter do it?
WhenWhen did it happen?Did it happen last night?

This page was added to the website on 2 July 2015
18 January to include referrals to MASH