West Berkshire Council

Contact, Advice and Assessment Service (CAAS)


As the CAAS, our contribution to the vision is to ensure that children are safe and protected through the early identification and assessment of risk and need. We provide timely intervention, identified through the process of assessment. This identifies appropriate services to help children and their families achieve their potential and make a positive difference to their lives.

We believe that a collaborative, well informed decision making process is the best way to improve the outcomes for our children, young people and their families.

What do we do?

CAAS is the front door for Children and Family Services and covers all of West Berkshire. The team feeds into the two Locality Safeguarding teams; West and East.

CAAS offers a consultation and advice service to our partners, providing a helpful opportunity to discuss concerns and receive clear guidance and support. Partners consistently receive outcome letters which have been revised and improved to be informative, helpful and provide an audit trail for decision making leading to greater accountability and transparency.

CFS graphic - 'Always do something, never do nothing'
CFS graphic - 'Always do something, never do nothing'

CAAS is comprised of two teams; MASH and Assessment. CAAS provides a statutory service including the following:

  • Single Assessments
  • S47 enquiries
  • Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Private law proceedings assessments
  • Care proceedings up to initial hearing
  • Social Workers hold a mixed caseload of:
    • Children in Need
    • Child Protection
    • Care Proceedings
    • Looked After Children (who are placed around the country)

pdf icon Thresholds of Need for the Support of Children [1Mb]

pdf icon Early Response Hub Leaflet [163kb]

The MASH Process

What MASH is and what it does

Go To The MASH Process

What to Expect: your initial contact with us

What happens when you get in touch with us.

Go To What to Expect: your initial contact with us

What to Expect: a Single Assessment

How we investigate a child protection concern.

Go To What to Expect: a Single Assessment