Referrals to the Multi-agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC)

A MARAC meeting is a multi-agency meeting where information is shared to ensure that vulnerable people and those involved with them are safeguarded from harm. This page discusses the process of MARAC.

A MARAC is a meeting where information is shared on the highest risk domestic abuse cases between representatives of local police, probation, health, children and adults safeguarding, housing practitioners, substance misuse services, independent domestic violence advisers (IDVAs) and other specialists from statutory and voluntary sectors.

The four aims of a MARAC are as follows:

After sharing all relevant information that they have about an adult at risk, the representatives discuss options for increasing the safety of the adult at risk and form a coordinated action plan. The MARAC will also discuss the risks posed to children and how to manage the person alleged to be causing the harm.

At the heart of a MARAC is a working assumption that no single agency or individual can see the complete picture of the life of a person at risk, but all may have insights that are crucial to their safety, as part of the coordinated community response to domestic violence.

The person at risk does not attend the meeting but is represented by an IDVA. Good practice indicates that all victims that are referred to the MARAC should also be referred to an IDVA. The role of the IDVA is to provide an independent domestic violence support service and advocate on their behalf at the MARAC meeting.

The MARAC will seek better protection for those who disclose domestic abuse and are at highest risk of being injured or killed. Referrals will be made through the local MARAC coordinator, who will also be able to advise on the appropriateness of a referral. They will also be able to provide the local MARAC administration pack with all the documentation and guidance for making referrals, including protocols and information-sharing agreements.

Any agency receiving a disclosure of domestic violence is able to refer the case to the local MARAC once they have completed a Coordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse-Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harrassment and Honour-based Violence (CAADA-DASH) risk identification checklist (RIC) and identified it as a high-risk case.

Relevant forms, agency tool kits and further information about the MARAC can be obtained from the CAADA website.

Risk assessments using the CAADA-DASH RIC should be undertaken and cases identified as high risk should be referred to the local MARAC.