Information for professionals

MARAC

What is a MARAC

A MARAC is a meeting where information is shared on the highest risk domestic abuse cases between representatives of local police, probation, health, child protection, housing practitioners, Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) and other specialists from the statutory and voluntary sectors. After sharing all relevant information they have about a victim, the representatives discuss options for increasing the safety of the victim and turn these into a co-ordinated action plan. The primary focus of the MARAC is to safeguard the adult victim. The MARAC will also make links with other forms to safeguard children and manage the behaviour of the perpetrator. At the heart of a MARAC is the working assumption that no single agency or individual can see the complete picture of the life of a victim, but all may have insights that are crucial to their safety. The victim does not attend the meeting but is represented by an IDVA who speaks on their behalf.

Please refer to your organisation’s copy of the April 2011 Devon and Cornwall Domestic Violence Information Sharing Agreement (ISA) entitled: ‘Agreement for the sharing of Information, on incidents of domestic violence in Devon & Cornwall, between statutory authorities, housing providers, voluntary and charitable agencies’. This ISA is concerned with the exchange of personal data. Please downlead a copy here: DomesticViolenceISA, if required.

Devon has four MARACs (multi-agency risk assessment conferences) which operate monthly. Exeter, East/Mid Devon; North Devon/Torridge; and South Devon (South Hams, Teignbridge and West).

Should I make a referral to MARAC?

In Devon we make use of a Risk Assessment Form developed by CAADA (Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse – a national charity supporting a strong multi-agency response to domestic abuse) called the DASH (Domestic Abuse, Stalking and ‘Honour’-based Violence) Risk Assessment Checklist.

The purpose of the checklist is to give a consistent and simple to use tool to practitioners who work with victims of domestic abuse in order to help them identify those who are at high risk of harm and whose cases should be referred to a MARAC (Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference) in order to manage the risk. The checklist is used by both the police and by other agencies to create a common criteria and language when measuring risk.

‘Standard Risk’: While risk indicators may be present, it is deemed neither imminent, nor serious. Professional judgement and / or the number of ‘ticks’ on this checklist. If you have ticked 0 – 5 ‘yes’ boxes the case would currently meet the ‘Standard Risk’ criteria.  Explain that nobody needs to live with domestic violence and abuse and that there is support out there. It is important to remember that risk is dynamic and should be monitored. It is also important to stress that the police can and should be contacted in an emergency. Hand out a domestic abuse services leaflet with appropriate contact numbers for your area and ask the person to keep you informed about their safety.

‘Medium Risk’: There are identifiable features of risk or serious harm.  Professional judgement and / or the number of ticks’ on this checklist. If you have ticked 6 – 13 ‘yes’ boxes the case would currently meet the ‘Medium Risk’ criteria. This level of risk should be referred to the local specialist domestic violence and abuse ‘Outreach’ service in Devon (but this can only be done with signed consent on the completed RIC). Make the referral to ‘Outreach’ services once you have obtained the necessary signed consent on the RIC. Explain that nobody needs to live with domestic violence and abuse and that there is support out there. It is important to remember that risk is dynamic and should be monitored. It is also important to stress that the police can and should be contacted in an emergency. Hand out a domestic abuse services leaflet with appropriate contact numbers for your area and ask the person to keep you informed about their safety, especially if they haven’t given their consent for a referral. Encourage them to make a self-referral in this instance.

‘High Risk’: There is imminent risk of serious harm. If you have ticked 14 or more ‘yes’ boxes the case would currently meet the MARAC referral criteria . The potential event is more likely than not to happen imminently and the impact could be serious. There may be need for immediate intervention. After discussion with your line manager/colleague, it may be necessary to notify the Police and / or Children and Young People’s Services immediately, without the consent of the victim. Where any agency assesses risk as ‘High’ an immediate referral to MARAC is normally required, with or without consent. Whilst it is best practice wherever possible to obtain the victim’s consent to make a referral to MARAC, it is not always safe or possible to do so. It is important to remember to complete the MARAC Information Sharing without Consent Form along with the MARAC Referral Form, if you are sharing information without consent. It is also important to stress that the police can and should be contacted in an emergency. Hand out appropriate contact numbers for your area and ask the person to keep you informed about their safety.

When making a referal please also complete a MARAC Research Form.

MARAC referrals should be sent by secure email (encrypted) or other secure method. No form of post (registered or otherwise) is considered secure anymore for sharing personal information.

 

 

 
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