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4.3 Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC)


  1. Introduction
  2. Outline of Service and Expectations for MARAC for Children's Social Care, Health and Police

1. Introduction

A Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) is a multi-agency meeting, which has the safety of high risk victims of domestic abuse as its focus. For more information about see Domestic Abuse Procedure.

The MARAC is a process involving the participation of all the key statutory and voluntary agencies who might be involved in supporting victims of domestic abuse. The objective of the MARAC is to share information and establish a simple multi-agency action plan to support the victim and make links with other public protection procedures, particularly safeguarding children, vulnerable adults and the management of offenders. Sheffield has a MARAC Operating Protocol and Information Sharing Agreement.

The MARAC meeting is a part of a wider process which hinges on the early involvement and support from an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) and continued specialist case management, both before and after the meeting. The MARAC should combine the best of both specialist supports, together with the co-ordination of generic agencies whose resources and involvement will be needed to keep victims and their children safe.

Where an offender is being managed at MAPPA level 2 or level 3, the MAPP meeting should take the lead, as the MAPPA is a statutory set of arrangements and takes precedence over MARAC. See Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) Procedure for more information.

2. Outline of Service and Expectations for MARAC for Children's Social Care, Health and Police

  • Representation - Agencies are required to nominate a MARAC Core Representative and a Deputy MARAC Core Representative who takes responsibility for:-  
    • Taking ownership of confidential information;
    • Researching MARAC cases;
    • Attending MARAC meetings;
    • Sharing relevant information at MARAC;
    • Being dynamic in offering up actions to safeguard victim and children;
    • Be accountable for actions raised for their agency;
    • Be a proactive member of a multi-agency team;
    • Flagging/tagging/putting alerts on systems.
  • Identity - Agencies should have systems in place to identify victims of Domestic Abuse. Many services now have some form of routine enquiry questions at point of assessment that are agreed for use with all service users;
  • Risk Assess - Agencies should adopt a consistent approach to risk assessing to ensure all evidence based risk factors are taken into consideration and avoid duplication. Therefore, the - DASH risk identification checklist should be used by all agencies to establish the victim's level of risk.
    See Sheffield DACT website for the DASH and practice guidance.

    The CAADA website (Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse (CAADA)) also has useful information and resources for practitioners including agency guides to MARAC. Once an assessment has been completed, any immediate safety measures required should be implemented to safeguard victim and children, such as making a referral to Children's Social Care - see Making a Referral following the Identification of Child Safety and Welfare Concerns Procedure for more information;
  • Referral - Agencies who have identified a victim as being at high risk of further serious harm or homicide should complete a MARAC Referral Form and forward it to the MARAC Coordinator and the Independent Domestic Violence Adviser (IDVA) Service. The IDVA Service will make contact with the victim prior to MARAC to offer support and identify key risk and fears;
  • Research - All agencies receive a MARAC Case Summary List from the MARAC Coordinator 7 days prior to the MARAC meeting. This summary list should clearly identify the known risks posed to the children and victim to assist the health decision making in respect of disclosing confidential client information. All agencies are required to research all cases and flag and tag their systems (put alerts on) to note that it is a MARAC case and any further information required from practitioners/colleagues should be sought from the MARAC Core Representative for that agency;
  • MARAC Meeting - All agencies should present relevant information at MARAC and assist with the implementation of an effective risk management plan ensuring that actions raised are SMART;
  • Follow up - All agencies have a duty to share MARAC actions with relevant colleagues and inform the MARAC Coordinator once actions are completed.