Initial Response Service (IRS)

IRS is the ‘Front Door’ for Children’s Services, where there is a concern regarding a child who may have additional vulnerabilities, this may be that the child is at risk of significant harm. IRS consists of 5 teams; a Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and 4 Assessment Teams.

All contacts are initially received and screened by MASH, the team will gather information held by the multi agency and a decision will then be made as to how the family will receive the most appropriate level of support they require. This could be through the following routes:

  • Signposting to universal services
  • Meets threshold for support by Early Help Services
  • Meets threshold for the Children with Disabilities Team
  • Meets threshold for Children’s Services for an assessment.

On the decision that the contact meets the threshold for Children’s Services the referral will then be transferred within 24hrs to one of the 4 Assessment Teams. The Assessment Teams rotate and each team spends a week on ‘duty’ and will undertake assessments on all children referred in that duty week. The referrals will consist of the following:

   Child in Need – S17

   Child Protection – S47

   Looked After Children – S31 & S20

On conclusion of the assessment, children then transfer to one of the longer term teams on a plan or will be supported by Early Help Services.


Initial Response Service (IRS)