Information for Professionals

MARAC

What is a MARAC?

A MARAC, or multi-agency risk assessment conference, 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 about a victim, representatives discuss options for increasing safety for the victim and turn these options into a co-ordinated action plan. The primary focus of the MARAC is to safeguard the adult victim.

The Devon MARACs have also established a firm link with the Devon MASH through a new dual referral form to ensure that there is appropriate consideration of safeguarding children. For more information about the new combined MARAC Referral and MASH Enquiry Form please click here. The MARAC will also make links with other fora 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.

For more information about MARACs, please visit the SafeLives, (a national charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse. Previously called Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse (Caada)) website:

http://www.safelives.org.uk/practice-support/resources-marac-meetings

CAADA is a national charity supporting a strong multi-agency response to domestic abuse.

Information Sharing

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 download a copy here: DomesticViolenceISA

Multi-Agency Training on the MARAC Process in Devon

The DSCB and DSAB run a suite of specialist multi-agency DVA safeguarding training courses for Devon’s workforce. Details about ‘The MARAC Process in Devon – increasing safety for victims of domestic violence and abuse’ can be found on our training pages.

 

Devon’s MARACs

Devon has four MARACs which operate monthly: Exeter MARAC, East and Mid Devon MARAC, Northern Devon MARAC, and South Devon and South Hams MARAC

MARAC

Chair
Contact Details

Administrator
Contact Details

Exeter

DI David Ley

Tel: 01392 262201

Rose Edgington

Tel: 01392 262218
Fax: 01392 262235

North Devon
and Torridge 

DI Praveen Naidoo

Tel: 01271 335253

Jean Bell

Tel: 01271 335380
Internal Ext. 81380

East and Mid
Devon 
DI Andy Berry

Rose Edgington

Tel: 01392 262218
Fax: 01392 262235

South Devon Rural
(South Hams,
Teignbridge,
West Devon) 

DI Julie Pezzani

Tel: 01364 655019

Kevin McCann

Tel: 01364 655008

Should I make a referral to MARAC?

In Devon we make use of a Risk Identification Checklist developed by SafeLives called the DASH (Domestic Abuse, Stalking and ‘Honour’-based Violence) RIC (Risk Identification Checklist).

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

Devon’s current (September 2010 to date) local CAADA-DASH RIC Risk Thresholds:

‘Standard Risk’ – 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.

‘Medium Risk’ – 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.

‘High Risk’ – Professional judgement and/or the number of ‘ticks’ on this checklist. If you have ticked 14 or more ‘yes’ boxes the case would currently meet the MARAC referral criteria.

Please also note that Devon’s ‘standard’ and ‘medium’ risk thresholds have not been evidenced based or piloted by SafeLives.

The responsibility for identifying local referral thresholds and risk management pathways rests with local MARACs and local domestic violence abuse service provision.

 

Guidance for Devon’s Risk Referral and Risk Management Pathways

‘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.

Next step…

Explain that nobody needs to live with domestic violence and abuse and that there is support available. 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.

Make a referral…

With the person’s consent, you can refer them to Victim Support by using the Victim Support Local Referral Form and secure email address or encourage them to self-refer by calling 0845 3030900.

Victim Support Website: www.victimsupport.org.uk
Tel: 0845 3030900

‘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.

Next step…

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.

Make a referral…

This level of risk should be referred to the local specialist domestic violence and abuse ‘Outreach’ service in Devon (Devon Domestic Abuse Support Services (DDASS), provided by Splitz Support Service) but this can only be done with signed consent on the completed RIC. Make the referral to DDASS services once you have obtained the necessary signed consent on the RIC. Send both the completed RIC and completed ‘Devon Adult Referral Form’ to DDASS via their secure email address: referrals.devon@splitz.org.cjsm.net. If they haven’t given their consent for a referral, encourage them to make a self-referral by phoning 0345 155 1074 or email admin@splitzdevon.org

‘High Risk’: There is imminent risk of serious harm. The Home Office definition of serious harm is ‘A risk which is life threatening and/or traumatic, and from which recovery, whether physical or psychological, can be expected to be difficult or impossible.’ 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 is most likely a need for immediate intervention.

Next step…

After discussion with your line manager/colleagues, it may be necessary to notify the Police and/or Children and Young People’s Services immediately. This may be a necessary step even without the consent of the victim. 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.

Make a referral…

When 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.

Please complete the new combined MARAC Referral and MASH Enquiry Form using the new Guidance to do so and send to the appropriate MARAC in your locality. There are 4 MARACs in Devon: Exeter MARAC, East and Mid Devon MARAC, Northern Devon MARAC, and South and West Devon MARAC.

This form needs to be completed for every high risk DV case as follows:

  • If there are children in the household, both the MARAC and the MASH part of the form should be completed and a copy of the whole form sent to both MARAC and MASH.

 

  • If there are no children, only the MARAC side should be completed and sent to MARAC only.

 

*Please note: It is the responsibility of the referrer to send to both MARAC and MASH. 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.

This diagram illustrates the ACPO DASH (Police) and SafeLives DASH (Multi-agency) DVA Risk Management Pathways in Devon (last updated 12th June 2014) which vary depending on the level of risk identified. Download a copy here.