Victims/survivors of domestic abuse - multi-agency risk assessment and interventions: report
A report relating to the development of Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (Maracs) covering views, themes and recommendations identified at a series of stakeholder deep dive sessions in 2021.
3. Overarching Messages
8. While the remainder of this learning report outlines the specific messages and themes for further discussion that attendees highlighted at each deep dive event, there were a number of overarching messages that were highlighted at all seven deep dive sessions. These include:
i. Adequate resourcing - There is a need to ensure adequate resources are made available to support Maracs, and other key multi-agency systems and processes, to operate to a high standard in each local authority area. This includes (but is not limited to) dedicated resources for Marac coordinators, Idaas, specialist services and national development support;
ii. Clear roles and responsibilities - Professionals within all key public sector and third sector organisations need a robust understanding of their individual and collective roles and responsibilities in relation to Maracs. Processes must be put in place to ensure they have the knowledge, skills and support needed to fulfil these functions, and that accountability systems are robust;
iii. National Guidance and Quality Standards - To support a consistent approach to identifying and responding to high risk victims/survivors of domestic abuse across Scotland, there is a need to develop national guidance and quality standards. This should build on the good practice and processes already in place in a number of local authority areas across Scotland, and support should be made available to local partners to implement the guidance and identify any areas for improvement; and
iv. Statutory footing - Creating a statutory duty around Maracs could help to ensure it is given equal status to other public protection processes and that all key public sector partners prioritise this accordingly. However, there are concerns that a statutory duty could contribute to low standards, and potentially increase risk to victims/survivors, in areas where there are currently flaws in current Marac delivery. The specific duties placed on partners, and the additional resources required to meet them, will need to be fully explored to help ensure they drive forward improved outcomes for high risk victims/survivors of domestic abuse. It is important that this exploratory work also recognises and considers the wider infrastructure of support needed locally to ensure women, children and young people receive early and effective interventions, that prevent violence and maximise safety and wellbeing.
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