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MARAC – Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference

PRACTICE GUIDE

The guidance outlined in this document recognises that our priority in this area is the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. It does not replace existing safeguarding children or adults procedures.

This manual was added to the manual in March 2017.

1. Definition of Domestic Abuse

The Home Office (2013) definition of domestic violence and abuse is:

"Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse (adapted from the Home Office definition):

  • Psychological / emotional abuse – intimidation and threats (e.g. about children or family pets), social isolation, verbal abuse, humiliation, constant criticism, enforced trivial routines, marked over intrusiveness;
  • Physical violence – slapping, pushing, kicking, stabbing, damage to property or items of sentimental value, attempted murder or murder;
  • Physical restriction of freedom – controlling who the mother or child/ren see or where they go, what they wear or do, stalking, imprisonment, forced marriage;
  • Sexual violence – any non-consensual sexual activity, including rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, refusing safer sex or human trafficking; and
  • Financial abuse – stealing, depriving or taking control of money, running up debts, withholding benefits books or bank cards.

Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

This definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called 'honour' based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group."

2. What is MARAC?

MARAC stands for Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference. It is a monthly meeting where agencies discuss the risk of serious harm to people experiencing domestic abuse, and make safety plans to support those at most risk. The aim is to increase the safety and well-being of the adults and children involved, and reduce the risk of them becoming repeat victims.

Each month a number of partner agencies such as Bedfordshire Police, social services, voluntary sector services and housing providers are made aware of high risk cases of domestic abuse. This may be through victims telling them, or professionals being aware of incidents where domestic abuse has occurred. These cases are referred into the MARAC to agree a safety plan to reduce the risk to the victim and any children.

Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) ensures a timely risk assessment of the circumstances affecting a victim of domestic abuse, ensures that those individuals believed to be at high risk of serious harm or death are linked directly with appropriate services, providing a coordinated multi-agency response to high risk domestic abuse cases, in a single meeting.

3. When to Refer to MARAC

A child's case will be referred to MARC when:

  • If the risk assessment (DASH) score is 14 or above;
  • There is escalation of the abuse either in frequency or severity; or
  • You, in discussion with your supervisor, have a concern about risk (even if DASH score is lower than 14).

4. Referrals to MARAC and Children's Services Actions

  1. Agency refers a case to MARAC without notifying the HUB:
    1. MARAC conference actions the referring agency to refer the case to the HUB;
    2. The MARAC social care rep record information and log with the hub (via email);
    3. HUB record the information in Mosaic and apply the normal screening mechanisms;
    4. If the referring agency has not made contact in 2 working days HUB will chase the agency for the information and record this.
  2. Referring agency notifies HUB about the incident and the intention to refer the case to MARAC:
    1. HUB record the information in Mosaic as a contact and apply the normal screening mechanisms;
    2. If there is new information or the risk has escalated as a result of the conference taking place, MARAC rep records information from MARAC and send back to the HUB via email after the conference;
    3. If there is new information of the risk has escalated as a result of the conference taking place, the referring agency will contact the HUB in 24 hours of the conference.
  3. Cases opened to Early Help service:
    1. Key Worker completes the DASH Risk Assessment with the victim (this will be done even if the police have completed DASH recently);
    2. Discuss the findings with the supervisor and book the case for HUB PM clinic;
    3. If you agree to progress to MARAC notify your MARAC representative who will be recording the referral in MODUS IT system and will provide you with a date and a time slot (10-20 min) for the next conference. (N.B. The perpetrator must NOT to be told of the MARAC referral);
    4. Complete the MARAC RESEARCH FORM and return it to MARAC coordinator;
    5. Attend MARAC alongside your MARAC coordinator to present/discuss the case;
    6. Record the actions from MARAC in Mosaic and consider escalation process if required (discuss with HUB PM).
  4. Cases opened to Social Care:
    1. Key Worker completes the DASH Risk Assessment with the victim (this will be done even if the police have completed DASH recently);
    2. Discuss the findings with the supervisor. If you agree to progress to MARAC notify your MARAC representative who will be recording the referral in MODUS IT system and will provide you with a date and a time slot (10-20 min) for the next conference. (N.B. The perpetrator must NOT to be told of the MARAC referral);
    3. Complete the MARAC RESEARCH FORM and return it to MARAC coordinator;
    4. Attend MARAC alongside your MARAC coordinator to present/discuss the case;
    5. Record the actions from MARAC in Mosaic and consider escalation process if required (discuss with HUB PM).
  5. Cases previously opened to Children's Services with no current Key Worker:
    1. MARAC coordinator emails social care MARAC REP when all referrals are added to modus;
    2. MARAC rep receives Referral notification via MODUS;
    3. Notifies the HUB via email;
    4. If the case was closed less than 3 months to the key worker, the Key worker will be asked to complete the MARAC Research Form;
    5. If the case was closed for more than 3 months the research form will be completed by MARAC rep;
    6. MARAC rep attends the conference and record the action in Mosaic;
    7. Depending on the information presented, escalation will be considered accordingly (in consultation with HUB PM if required

5. Who are the MARAC Representatives?

  • There are 3 representatives from Children's Services attending MARAC:
    • 1 MARAC rep for the Early Help Service (Relay manager);
    • 1 MARAC rep for Referral Assessment and intervention Service;
    • 1 MARAC rep for Family Support Service.
  • Each MARAC conference will be attended by the Early Help rep and alternatively one of the reps from Assessment and Family Support service.

6. The Responsibility of MARAC Representative

  • Completes the Research form in cases closed for more than 3 months or those ones where the Key Worker is not available;
  • Authorise referrals to MARAC, providing guidance on content, quality and multi-agency support available;
  • Attend MARAC for the Local Authority, sharing relevant information (subject to data protection) and taking part in decision making regarding victims/children and perpetrators;
  • Updates Mosaic regarding MARAC activity on cases;
  • Liaise with the HUB when required;
  • Liaise with respective teams when required;
  • Notify the agencies about the expectation that they contact the HUB with updates in 24 hours or 3 days of the conference depending on the case (se above guide);
  • Promote MARAC in the organisation and partners;
  • Provide guidance and advice about the process;
  • Access Modus and complete actions required of agency;
  • MARAC representative need to put in place processes/systems within their service area to ensure workers respond in a timely way to requests for information/action.

7. Resources

Appendices

Appendix 1: DASH Risk Assessment - this will be completed by the Key Worker every time a case is considered for referral to MARAC.

Click here to view Appendix 2: MARAC Referral Flowchart

Click here to view Appendix 3: MARAC Research Form

Trix procedures

Only valid for 48hrs