Processing Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) Tasks
SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This guidance pertains to all Social Workers and Children's Practitioners working with families subject to MARAC.
Please read in conjunction with the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures, Domestic Abuse Procedure, Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC's).
AMENDMENTThe MARAC procedures were updated in the Local Information in March 2022.
MARAC meetings are held monthly across Hertfordshire in Central, Western and Northern regional groups.
Each MARAC meeting will discuss families (victim with/without children) deemed at high risk of harm through domestic abuse. Often, Children's Services are actively involved where there are children within the family, however in some instances there may be no current Children's Services involvement.
Each MARAC meeting is attended by a representative of the Children's Safeguarding Service, generally an Assessment Team Manager, Consultant Social Worker or Senior Practitioner, often alongside a Children's Practitioner.
During the meeting they will contribute by agreeing appropriate actions to be undertaken by Children's Services. Where the children have an allocated Social Worker on LCS, the CS representative will email the details of action agreed at the meeting and record a case note on LCS stating that the child has been discussed at a multi-agency risk assessment meeting.
2. Referrals to MARAC on Open Cases to Children's Services
All case holders involved with a family when a high risk incident comes to their notice (or if concerns escalate regarding Domestic Abuse) will review MARAC criteria and make a referral if criteria is met. All open referrals where children are exposed to a level of domestic abuse should be reviewed in relation to risk escalation on a regular basis through supervision.
When MARAC criteria is met, the case holder will complete the MARAC referral form and email it to their area MARAC rep who will forward it to the following address:
MARAC reps may offer advice to referrers if they do not feel the referral meets MARAC criteria; however the final decision about whether to submit a MARAC referral lies with the referring SW's manager.
Please see Appendices for the MARAC toolkit for Referral Form, Risk Assessment and other useful information to aid risk assessment.
3. Before the MARAC Meeting
The MARAC representative will:
- Receive the relevant MARAC's (double district) agenda and case list from the MARAC coordinator via the dedicated MARAC email;
- Confirm the venue location and the time that the cases are being heard;
- Check cases received against LCS, EHM and IES. If a case is not open, complete a summary of information to take to the meeting and share;
- If the case is already open to Children's Services, add a MARAC case note on the system (see layout below) and inform the Case Worker that the case is being heard at MARAC. Get an update and summary to share at the MARAC;
- Take the completed summary and agenda to the MARAC.
Case Note Layout
Case note title 'MARAC.'
Reason for contact: MARAC meeting will be held. See detailed notes for request for information from allocated worker to share at the MARAC.
Detailed Notes: In detailed notes, put the following: "I represent Children's Services at the monthly MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference) discussing high risk domestic abuse cases. The following child(ren) are on your case load and will be discussed at this month's MARAC meeting. Please send me a brief update to provide at MARAC regarding:
- Current CS involvement and concerns;
- Historical CS involvement and concerns;
- Any future CS involvement envisioned at this time;
- Any information you want to request from other agencies (probation, police, housing, school, health, CMHT, IDVA);
- Contact arrangements between parent and child;
- Known risk factors to be shared at meeting."
4. During the MARAC Meeting
- Cases are heard individually, this begins with the referrer and then discussions are held about the case;
- Worker takes notes/meeting minutes of the cases, particularly those open to Children's Services;
- Risks are summarised and actions are identified;
- The attending worker needs to be involved in the decision making process and any formulated actions.
5. After MARAC Meeting
Minutes come through over email; however during the time these take to come through (usually a few weeks) the following actions need to be considered /completed:
A. For cases that already open to Children's Services/open on LCS
The CS representative adds a case note (entitled 'MARAC' along with the date of the meeting) with a summary and any actions, ensuring the case holder and case holder's TM is copied into the case note. Upload minutes into a case note, once received. At the end of the case note, the following statement needs to be added:
Case Note: "Please note that the above information is confidential and must not be shared with anybody including the family; the perpetrator cannot know they were discussed at the MARAC. If you feel it necessary for safeguarding purposes to use information, then you must first obtain consent directly from the agency that provided the information (i.e. IDVA, Probation, and Police) or consent from the MARAC chair. If you need contact details for professionals who attended MARAC please contact the MARAC coordinator (HertsMARAC@Herts.pnn.police.uk) for further information."
B. For cases already open to TYST/MASH or Early Intervention or on IES/EHM
In this instance send an email to the worker informing them that the case was heard and share the meeting minutes on email, with the below statement:
"Please find attached MARAC minutes, (which are password protected). Please note that the minutes are confidential and must not be shared with anybody including the family; the perpetrator cannot know they were discussed at the MARAC. If you feel it necessary for safeguarding purposes to use information within the minutes, then you must first obtain consent directly from the agency that provided the information (i.e. IDVA, Probation, and Police) or consent from the MARAC chair.If you need contact details for professionals who attended MARAC please contact the MARAC coordinator (HertsMARAC@Herts.pnn.police.uk) for further information. Please now upload the full minutes onto Livelink."
C. For cases that are already open to Thriving Families (TF)
Thriving Families should have attended the meeting and they will feedback any actions or minutes from the meeting and therefore unless stated at the meeting, there will be no actions for CS MARAC representative.
D. Once Actions are Completed
When the relevant caseworker on LCS has completed an identified task:
- They will complete a MARAC case note and copy in the CS MARAC representative for their local area.
When a relevant caseworker on EHM or IES has completed a relevant task:
- They will case note on IES or EHM and email the CS MARAC representative.
These actions will need to be completed within 72 hours as the MARAC rep will need to feedback to MARAC within a week.
For cases not open to Children's Services and where there is no action from MARAC:
- A note should be added to the case summary advising that the case was heard at MARAC and the date and suggest to contact the MARAC chair/co-ordinator (HertsMARAC@Herts.pnn.police.uk) or attending worker to share details of the case, should the case be opened to Children's Services in the future or should the info be required.
For cases that are not open to Children's Services but an action was made at MARAC for a contact to be made/opened:
- Where it has been agreed at the meeting that a new referral should be generated and a Child and Family Assessment completed, the CS representative will send the meetings minutes or a summary to the relevant CIAO/ChiP/TM within 24 hours who will ensure that a referral is opened within that timescale, the referral being generated by the team themselves, not via Customer Services.