Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) for domestic abuse

MARAC provides appropriate services for those involved in domestic abuse: victim, children and perpetrator

The role of the MARAC

The purpose of the domestic abuse Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference is to facilitate, monitor and evaluate effective information sharing to enable suitable measures to be taken to increase public safety. The responsibility to take appropriate actions rests with individual agencies. The MARAC helps you ensure that the high risk victims you support are better protected from further abuse by a coordinated effort from all agencies and organisations. It also helps high risk victims access more resources locally, supports you to build relationships with local agencies and impacts on the core of your work: safety planning with the victim.

Objectives

  • reduce the risk of serious harm or homicide for a victim and increase the safety, health and wellbeing of victims, adults and children
  • determine whether the perpetrator poses a significant risk to any particular individual or to the general community
  • construct jointly and implement a risk management plan that provides professional support to all those at risk and that reduces the risk of harm
  • reduce repeat victimisation
  • share information to increase safety
  • improve agency accountability and improve support for staff involved in high-risk domestic abuse cases.

MARAC case profile

The highest risk case of domestic abuse are discussed at MARAC. These cases are generally identified by a practitioner from any agency using an evaluated risk assessment tool, such as the Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Honour Based Violence (DASH) risk indicator checklist. Recommendations are that the MARAC should initially address the top 10% of cases and risk profile in your area. This may include cases of extended family violence, including so-called 'honour' based violence.

How to refer a case to MARAC

To refer a case to MARAC, you need to consider whether the assessed risk level meets the MARAC threshold.

  1. Complete the DASH risk indicator checklist with your client, where possible.
  2. If this is not possible, either consider the referral criteria below or contact the IDASH service (Integrated Domestic Abuse Service for Hampshire) for assistance with risk assessment.
  3. Complete a MARAC referral form and contact your local MARAC coordinator.

Recommended referral criteria to MARAC

Visible high risk

The number of 'ticks' on the DASH risk indicator checklist can be an indication that a referral is recommended; if you have ticked 14 or more 'yes' boxes the case would normal meet the MARAC referral criteria.

Professional judgement

If a professional has serious concern about a victim's situation, they should refer the case to MARAC. There will be occasions where the particular context of a case gives rise to serious concerns even if the victim has been unable to disclose the information that might highlight their risk more clearly.

This could reflect extreme levels of fear, cultural barriers to disclosure, immigration issues or language barriers particularly in cases of 'honour' based violence. This judgement would be based on the professional's experience and/or the victim's perception of their risk, even if they do not meet the visible high risk and/or the potential escalation criteria.

Potential escalation

Another indication can be the number of police callouts to the victim as a result of domestic violence in the past 12 months. Where the majority of the risk factors on the list cannot be clearly identified, this criterion can be used to identify cases where abuse appears to be escalating and where it is appropriate to assess the situation more fully by sharing information at MARAC.

It is common practice to start with three or more police callouts in a 12 months period but this will need to be reviewed depending on your local level of police reporting.

MARAC coordinators

In Hampshire, MARAC coordinators sit within the different police areas:

Northern area

Western area

Eastern area

Isle of Wight