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Last updated: 18 November 2021

Guidance for parents

Children and young people come to the attention of our children’s services for a number of reasons:

  • Concerns may be raised about a child who is at risk of abuse, neglect, involved in gang behaviour or at risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE) and safeguarding actions are required to ensure the child remains safe
  • Schools may have a concern about a child’s attendance, behaviour, and/or presentation
  • Health professionals may have concerns about a child’s health and/or missed health appointments
  • Police and youth offending may be involved
  • Children who have an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan for SEND

Wherever the concerns may start, we believe that if a positive difference is going to be made, we need to understand the whole picture and work with you. 

Referrals to the MASH team

If a professional believes that your child/children and you may need additional support, they will discuss this with you first. They will give you the opportunity to respond and agree on the way forward to make improvements.

If after a period of monitoring, the professional continues to be concerned, they may decide to make a referral about your child/children to the MASH team.

The professional will speak to you first about their reasons for making a referral and how the MASH team will handle the referral.

However, will not talk to you before making a referral if they feel that in talking to you first, could put your child/children at further risk of harm.

What to do if you are unhappy with how a referral has been handled

If you’re unhappy about the way the MASH team deals with any referral about your child, you may raise this first with the MASH team manager. He/she will explain why 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 unhappy about the way Waltham Forest has used your information.

You have a right under the Data Protection Act to request any information the council holds about you.