Referral to a MARAC

Referral types

Cases to be submitted to MARAC should include the following:

  • all cases assessed as high risk 
  • if capacity allows, any other case which does not meet the criteria for high risk but gives cause for significant concern (may include repeat victim cases).
  • any Thames Valley Police applications under Clare's Law (Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme) which require discussion.

Children will be discussed during the meeting, but the ultimate responsibility of safeguarding the welfare of children and young people sits with local Social Services or MASH.

Who refers?

Any agency that receives the initial report / referral of the domestic abuse incident should conduct a formal risk assessment of the incident and refer the case to a MARAC if high risk. In most cases this is the police given that they receive the vast majority of crisis referrals, although many different agencies may identify a client as suffering domestic abuse including the A&E department, social services and health visitors for example.

In some cases it may be beneficial to assist the referring agency to review the initial risk assessment prior to submission to a MARAC referral being made.

How does a practitioner refer?

Where a practitioner has serious concerns about a client's situation they should complete the Safe lives DASH risk assessment checklist with their client. If 14 or more boxes have been ticked “yes” or there is significant cause for concern (may include repeat victim cases) it should be brought to the attention of their Designated MARAC Officer (DMO) for referral to the MARAC. A combination of actuarial assessment (number of ticks) and clinical assessment (professional judgment) for cases with a smaller number of ticks may also be referred to MARAC at the discretion of the Designated MARAC Officer.

The Designated MARAC Officer should confirm the risk assessment and take responsibility for the correct completion of the initial Referral Form. This should be completed by or in consultation with the original member of staff completing the risk assessment and then forwarded to the local area MARAC Administrator by CJSM secure e-mail, MODUS or by hand.

If there is no DMO available, then practitioners with a high risk case should contact their local MASH.

The referring agency should, where appropriate, inform a client about the MARAC process and obtain consent to information being shared with other agencies present. A service user's consent form should be completed. However, where consent is not obtained, please see guidelines on the information sharing agreement for MARAC. Each agency should keep personalised MARAC information and risk assessment information within a secure file.

The case will then be submitted for the next available MARAC meeting using appropriate software through local MASH.

Here is a video from SafeLives:


Bracknell Forest MASH: 01344 352005

Reading Borough MASH: 0118 937 3641 (Office hours only) 01344 786543 (Out of Hours Emergency Duty Team)

Slough Children's Services Trust: 01753 506400

West Berkshire Council:  01635 503090 or email West Berks Children & Families Social Care

Windsor & Maidenhead MASH: 01628 683150. Emergency Duty Team (EDT) on 01344 786543.

Wokingham LCSB: 0118 908 8002 or email local Safeguarding Team Emergency Duty Team — out of office hours: telephone: 01344 786 543

Thames Valley Police email contact for Berks

Buckinghamshire MASH

For concerns regarding children, contact: 0845 460 0001 (First Response Team) For concerns regarding adults, contact: 0800 137 915 (Careline) 

Thames Valley Police email contact for Bucks 

Milton Keynes MASH

Milton Keynes Safeguarding Hub or contact: 01908 253169 or 253170.  You can also email MK MASH 

Oxfordshire MASH

Oxfordshire Safeguarding Hub or contact: 0345 050 7666 or complete Online Enquiries or you can also email Oxfordshire MASH