The main aim of the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) is to reduce the risk of serious harm or homicide for a victim and to increase safety, health and wellbeing of victims, both adults and any children.
In a MARAC local agencies will meet to discuss the highest risk victims of domestic abuse in their area. Information about the risks faced by those victims, the actions needed to maximise safety, and the resources available locally are shared and used to create a risk management plan involving all agencies. See flowchart.
Agencies attending include police, probation, health agencies, housing services, child and adults social care, education providers, specialist services – such as sexual support centres, refuges, substance misuse services, any other organisation working with the family and the organisation making the referral. It is really important that the referring agency attends in person – this will give other agencies the opportunity to ask questions directly and to make very useful contacts with other professional who may be able to help manage the risk issues.
An Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) will also be present to put forward the views of the victim. Victims and perpetrators do not attend.
Complete all sections of the referral form and include information about GP (for all those involved, children and adults), information on housing situation, any other information that is not included in the DASH, the reason why you are making the referral and the suggested outcome from the MARAC.
Referrals need to be sent to the MARAC Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org with a duplicate of the form sent to the IDVA service: MASHIDVASUPPORT@norfolk.pnn.police.uk
MARAC meetings now take place daily by telephone conference call, with some professionals physically present. A list of cases to be discussed will be sent out to representatives two days before hand. Conference Call log in details can be obtained from the MARAC Coordinator, or if it is more convenient, professionals can attend the meeting in person. Representatives should bring relevant and basic details on the client and the services they require that relate to the domestic violence and abuse. This could include names; dates of birth; dates of attendances at your agency; summary of injuries sustained; whether domestic violence was disclosed and what relevant services have been accessed. This can highlight the severity of abuse to other agencies.
All agencies sign a confidentiality agreement.
The MARAC Chair will lead discussion on each case including the actions taken and outstanding, the information held by agencies and the victim’s views. They will then summarise the risks to the victim, children, perpetrators, staff and any other relevant parties and check no further risks are outstanding. Each agency will volunteer actions to reduce risk and the chair will identify any that aren’t being managed. The agencies will agree who will report back to the victim and timescales and responsibilities for carrying out actions.
Agreed actions can include a range of measures such as police surveillance, alarms/CCTV being fitted, Clare’s Law disclosure, children’s services referral, child contact/care plans provision, management of perpetrator and joint visits to engage with victim. Agencies will report to the MARAC Co-ordinator when these are completed.
You can watch a video of a MARAC reconstruction here.