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Domestic Violence Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC)

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A multi-agency partnership approach is necessary in order to meet the full range of social, welfare, economic, safety, accommodation, criminal and civil justice needs of survivors. Sharing information through the MARAC enables agencies to act from a better factual understanding of the situation and the risks faced by the survivor and any children.

The MARAC provides a forum for sharing information and drawing up an action plan in order to reduce future harm to high risk survivors and their children. The SASS or another identified agency will represent the interests of the survivor and take any suggested action back to the survivor for her/his consideration.

The MARAC convenes on a monthly basis to discuss high-risk cases. The MARAC is chaired by the detective inspector in charge of Islington Police Community Safety Unit (CSU).The work is co-ordinated and monitored by the MARAC co-ordinator, a member of the Islington Council Community Safety Partnership Unit (CSPU). In Islington the MARAC Coordinator is Anthea Ranjit-Singh. To contact Anthea about the MARAC or to make a referral, email marac@islington.gov.uk or call 020 7527 2175. You can also use the secure email address: marac@islington.gov.uk.cjsm.net 

The following agencies are represented at the MARAC:

  • Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust
  • IKWRO (Iranian, Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation)
  • IMECE Women’s Centre
  • KMEWO (Kurdish, Middle Eastern Women’s Organisation)

  • Latin American Women’s Aid

  • London Borough of Islington Adult Service

  • London Borough of Islington Targeted and Specialist Children Services

  • London Borough of Islington Community Safety Partnership Unit

  • London Borough of Islington Housing Aid Centre

  • London Borough of Islington Housing Operations

  • London Probation Service

  • National Health Service North Central London

  • Primary Care Trust, Islington

  • Solace Women’s Aid Services

  • Whittington NHS Trust- Accident and Emergency and Midwifery Service

The above list is not exhaustive. Consideration will also be given to requesting additional professional support from other specialist agencies on a case by case basis.

All MARAC members have signed an Information Sharing Protocol which stipulates that information about the survivor and alleged perpetrator can only be shared for the purpose of “making or modifying and implementing plans to support the reduction of future harm for very high risk domestic violence victims and their children”.

All agencies, invited to attend the MARAC on a case-by-case basis, are required to sign up to this agreement. The Safelives website has downloadable toolkits with information and guidance on referring to and participating in MARAC.

Risk Identification and Referral to MARAC

Risk identifies the likelihood that harm will occur, and risk indicators are the variables that will be used to predict violence and abuse in the future. Harm refers to the type and amount of abuse being predicted in the case. A “high risk” indicator means that there are very clear and identifiable indicators of further risk of serious harm.

In order for the MARAC to work effectively there needs to be a common understanding of “high risk” among all MARAC participants. Islington MARAC Steering Group has adopted the Safelives-DASH risk indicator (see Appendix 1). Training on Safelives DASH RIC is offered through the SIP VAWG training programme.

The Safelives DASH RIC is normally carried out by the Lead Agency that receives the initial disclosure or referral of the domestic violence incident or case. Where a high or very high risk cases is identified the professional should refer the case to the MARAC and the following appropriate services; Police, Children’s Services and SASS.

It is best practice to advise the victim about the MARAC referral and gain her/his consent. However, where a victim does not consent and the case meets the MARAC threshold or where professional judgment decrees the violence is such that the victim is at significant risk of harm or homicide. Professionals should refer under the provisions of the Human Rights Act, 1998 and 2000 and the Crime and Disorder Act, 1998. S118. Where possible a safe telephone number should be recorded on the MARAC referral form. If telephone contact is not safe then this should be indicated on the referral form.

All professionals from across the statutory and voluntary sector may refer cases to the MARAC. All documentation relating to the victim should be protectively marked. A common referral form is used among all agencies. Complete referral forms are sent to the MARAC Coordinator, the IDVA services and Children’s Social Care by MODUs or secure email. If you do not have a CJSM email a completed referral form should be sent to the MARAC Co-ordinator via secure email or be password protected. The deadline for referrals is 9 days prior to the MARAC meeting.

A flow chart explaining the MARAC referral process can be downloaded below. Also below you can download the Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Honour Based Violence Risk Assessment Checklist (DASH RIC).

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