Countdown to launch of new Early Help strategy for children and families

Lewisham Council is launching its new Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and early help on 31 January 2017.


What is different?


1) A new online referral form is launching on 31 January for all new safeguarding referrals and requests for targeted support from the new family support service. (replaces the referral function of the CAF). This is to ensure that families receive the right help at the right time.


2) A revised continuum of need document, which will help all professionals to:

  • understand and meet levels of need
  • understand when to request additional help and support for children and families.


3) A new early help team will:

  • provide advice and support to professionals in their early help work with children and families
  • track and monitor outcomes for children and families
  • co-design with partner agencies a new early help assessment and plan for working with families (replaces the assessment function of the CAF).


Increased resource within the MASH

  • new dedicated MASH social workers and managers
  • additional representation from partner agencies including police, health, education, child and adolescent mental health services, housing, probation, victim support and substance misuse
  • improved response times to referrers, families receive the right help at the right time by the right person.


​What do I do?

Using the new continuum of need, if you decide a family is at levels 3 or 4 and you require support from children’s social care or the targeted family support service, you will use the new online form and NOT the CAF to make a referral.


How do I get help?

You can still contact the MASH for advice, guidance and safeguarding concerns by calling 020 8314 6660 or emailing

Look out for further announcements and links to the council's new MASH webpage with all the guidance you will need to use the online form.


Your VCSE rep

Your VCSE rep on the Early Help Strategy Board is Lisa Scott Keen from Pre-School Learning Alliance. You can contact her on