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3.16 Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC)

RELATED GUIDANCE

Domestic Abuse

Safe Lives


Contents

1. MARACs
  1.1 Purpose
  1.2 Interface with Safeguarding Adults
2. DASH Risk Assessment
3. Referrals to MARAC
4. MARAC Meetings
  4.1 Preparation for MARAC meetings
  4.2 Attendance at the Meeting
  4.3 Action Plans and 3rd Party Information
5. Further Incidents Where a Victim Has Already Been Discussed at MARAC


1. MARACs

1.1 Purpose

A Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (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.

1.2 Interface with Safeguarding Adults

Where a person experiencing domestic abuse is an Adult at Risk, a Safeguarding Concern should be raised so the Safeguarding Process can be followed (see Part 2: Safeguarding Framework). The MARAC process does not replace the Adult Safeguarding Framework or the need for multi-agency Safeguarding Planning for Adults at Risk.


2. DASH Risk Assessment

The Plymouth Domestic Abuse Partnership advocates the use of the Domestic Abuse Stalking and Homicide (DASH) Risk Assessment tool to determine the level of risk of a domestic abuse case.

DASH gives a consistent and practical tool to practitioners working with victims of domestic abuse to help them identify those who are at high risk of Harm.

Risk factors in the DASH (2009) - are evidence based, drawn from extensive research by leading academics in the field of domestic homicides, ‘near misses’ and lower level incidents.

Following completion of the DASH assessment, a victim may be assessed as being at ‘Standard’, ‘Medium’ or ‘High’ risk of serious Harm.

As part of a Safeguarding Adults’ Strategy Meeting or discussion involving domestic abuse, the professionals involved should confirm whether a DASH Risk Assessment has been completed.

If at the point of Strategy Discussion / Meeting, the DASH has not been completed, arrangements should be made for a worker trained in the DASH Risk Assessment process to assist in completing this with the victim.


3. Referrals to MARAC

Those cases assessed as ‘High’ risk according to the DASH tool should be referred to a MARAC.

This can be done by contacting the MARAC administrator in the Police Domestic Abuse Team by secure email. A referral should be made to MARAC by the worker who completed the assessment or their organisation in consultation with the MARAC representative of that organisation.

If Adult Social Care staff have completed a DASH Risk Assessment which indicates high risk, this should be discussed with the Adult Social Care and Joint Commissioning MARAC representative who will ensure that the MARAC referral is made.

Wherever possible, victims should be informed of the referral to MARAC unless the doing so would increase the risk of Harm.


4. MARAC Meetings

4.1 Preparation for MARAC meetings

The MARAC administrator circulates a list of names to be discussed at the next meeting in advance.

4.1.1 Electronic Record Search and Warning Markers

The MARAC representative for Adult Social Care will arrange for a search of electronic records for each name to see whether the person is known to Adult Social Care and whether any information is held that should be shared with the meeting.

If a victim being discussed at MARAC is known to Adult Social Care, a warning marker will be placed on the electronic record indicating the person is at high risk of domestic abuse and has been discussed at MARAC.

These warning markers will be kept under review and reviewed at least annually. There is no expectation to place warning markers for those discussed at MARAC who are not known to Adult Social Care or against alleged perpetrators.

4.2 Attendance at the Meeting

Each agency should send a consistent person (of sufficient seniority to make commitments on behalf of the organisation) to attend the meeting. It is not considered appropriate for the allocated worker to attend the meeting; it should be one consistent representative. At the meeting, information is shared and each agency should volunteer actions on behalf of its agency which could increase the safety of the victim and identify opportunities to coordinate actions with partners.

4.3 Action Plans and 3rd Party Information

After the meeting the MARAC administrator sends an action plan.

The representative will communicate the agreed actions to the social worker involved, ask for confirmation of when the actions are complete and update the administrator accordingly.

Minutes of the meeting will be shared with the allocated worker and saved in the client’s record in the Safeguarding Adults section.

Staff should be aware that these will contain sensitive third party information which should not be routinely shared or disclosed outside formal protocols and only with due regard to data protection guidance.


5. Further Incidents Where a Victim Has Already Been Discussed at MARAC

Where a victim has already been discussed at MARAC and Adult Social Care become aware of further incidents of abuse or information that would affect the level of risk to the victim, this information should be passed to the MARAC representative to be shared, as appropriate at the next MARAC meeting. This will not replace the need for immediate protective actions that may need to be taken by Adult Social Care. Neither will it replace the need for information sharing nor joint working between practitioners directly involved with the Adult at Risk in advance of the next MARAC meeting.

End