MARAC is a partnership approach, its core objective is to share information about domestic abuse victims, perpetrators and families on the highest risk domestic abuse cases between representatives of Children’s Social Care, Adult Social Care, Police, Housing, Education, Specialist Domestic Abuse Services and Mental Health and other specialists from the statutory and voluntary sectors. The primary focus of the MARAC is to safeguard the adult victim.
Each agency committed to the MARAC process in Somerset has a MARAC representative who attends meetings and is responsible for the actions of their agency. They provide research for the cases ahead of MARAC, share relevant and proportionate risk-focused information at the meeting in relation to all vulnerable parties including the perpetrator and volunteer actions for their agency in response to the risk of harm identified.
Somerset MARACs are held weekly. The coordination and administration of the MARAC is carried out by a dedicated MARAC Officer within the Somerset Domestic Abuse Service. This supports an effective process and the agencies involved in the MARAC.
The MARAC does not replace other multi-agency assessment processes which run alongside it.
How to make a referral to MARAC
MARAC cases can be referred from any agency. A professional will have to identify that someone is at risk of domestic abuse, whether the survivor discloses or in a professional’s judgement they believe they are. The perpetrator(s) should never be told of the MARAC process.
A DASH Risk Identification Checklist (commonly known as a DASH or RIC) must be completed for the victim by the practitioner. Only high-risk victims can be referred to MARAC, those who total 14 “ticks” or more. But you can use professional judgement if a lower score is reached but you believe the risks are high enough to justify a discussion at MARAC.
A Somerset Domestic Abuse Service referral form should then be completed and sent to MARAC@Somerset.gov.uk and SIDAS@Somerset.gov.uk via secure email. If you do not have a secure email account or have any other questions about our service or making a referral, please contact us.
Cases that do not reach the criteria for MARAC
If a victim does not meet the criteria they can still be referred to the Somerset Domestic Abuse Service for other support which is designed to support all victims of Domestic Abuse.
What happens after the MARAC
The Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) will let the victim know about the safety plan, safety measures and the support each agency offers. The safety plan will be about actions to support the victim and any children and to reduce the risk from the perpetrator.
If the abuse continues
If a victim whose case has already been considered at a MARAC later reports an incident to any agency, that agency must refer the case back to the MARAC as a repeat case.
This allows the MARAC to re-design the safety plan, taking the new information into account.
Further information about MARAC can be found in the Somerset MARAC protocol.
If you are in any doubt about how to engage in the MARAC process, please speak to your agency’s “MARAC Representative”. If you’re not sure who this is, or you need any other MARAC-related information, please email MARAC@Somerset.gov.uk.