If you have serious concerns about a child or young person, or if you need help parenting your child you can call 0345 155 1071 or email mashsecure@devon.gcsx.gov.uk

Out of hours please call 0845 6000 388. If it is an emergency dial 999

The Devon Safeguarding Children Board has an Early Help strategy to protect children or young people in Devon and provide help and advice to families as soon as they need it.

Early Help is about more than just child protection: it is about making sure that children living in Devon are safe, healthy, happy and well educated. Early Help Coordinators will work across Devon to ensure that those children and families needing help are receiving it, and from the right professionals.

You can find out more about the early help strategy here

The Devon Assessment Framework (DAF) enables workers and volunteers to assess all the needs of a child or young person and commence access to the required services.  This information about a child, young person or their family will help workers and volunteers to understand the family’s position and what services they need to help them. This may include an enquiry to the Devon Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) or a referral for a family group conference.

The Devon Threshold Tool assists workers and volunteers with the DAF assessment. View the tool here

If you have any questions you can contact the board here

All information passed to the Devon customer service centre (0345 155 1071) will be taken seriously. The team at the customer service centre will decide the seriousness of the information and determine if this will be a referral to the Early Help Coordination Centre or passed to the MASH.  The Early Help Coordination Centre will use the DAF and organise a team around the child allocating a lead professional to support the family with addressing their needs.

The multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) will consider the information and where necessary make a referral to children social care to start an initial assessment.

Depending on the severity of the information immediate action may be taken to ensure the safety of a child, in extreme cases this may result in children being temporarily placed with a foster carer.

Private fostering is when a child under the age of 16 (under 18 if disabled) is cared for by someone who is not their parent or a close relative. This is a private arrangement that lasts more than 28 days and is made between a parent and a carer.

By law, Devon County Council must be told about all private fostering situations – See more here. If you think you might be involved in a private fostering arrangement, you can phone 0845 155 1013 or email mashsecure@devon.gcsx.gov.uk.