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The role of the MARAC Chair

The Chair of the MARAC will aim to facilitate a process that addresses the safety of high risk domestic abuse victims within Cumbria in partnership with other agencies.

In order to achieve this the Chair will aim to co-ordinate the MARAC in a way which is consistent, transparent and accountable                              .

Consistency relates to:

  • the attendance of partner agencies,
  • the information that they bring to the meeting
  • an ethos that actions are timed and completed as agreed within the meeting.


It is important that all agencies at the MARAC are clear about their role and about the referral threshold for MARAC. You may get directly involved in establishing this at the outset and must use your judgement to ensure that the number of cases reviewed at each meeting is broadly consistent and at a manageable level.


The key focus for the MARAC should be the victim. Since they are not present at the meeting, you will need to identify someone who has brought information from the victim, where safe to do so, and identify the most appropriate person to inform the victim of any action plan or relevant information agreed at MARAC. This is most frequently the IDVA service, but can vary for individual cases.  

Finally, the MARAC Chair is not responsible for the actions of each attendee, an ethos of accountability and responsibility to partner agencies must be developed from the start. This relates to their attendance, to the completion of actions and to the recording of data in relation to the MARAC. The MARAC is designed to take responsibility for addressing high risk cases of domestic violence from one or two agencies and share it between all relevant agencies. Encouraging participation from all agencies is therefore a key task for the Chair, in partnership with the steering group, to help create a proactive safety plan where the risks and needs of victim, children and perpetrator are addressed by the MARAC appropriately.

Police DS

When MARAC referrals are received the Police Detective Sergeant (DS) will allocate each case to a Detective Constable (DC) to ensure that appropriate safeguarding is in place, including alerts on addresses, safety planning advice, referral to community safety team where appropriate and any other relevant safeguarding actions to ensure that the victim is safe. 

Once the MARAC agenda has been prepared and distributed the MARAC Co-ordinators prepare profiles on all individuals who are to be discussed in MARAC and send to the DS. The DS then prepares a summary to present to the MARAC attendees on each case.

The DS shares information in MARAC on both the victim and perpetrator including details of calls for service, PNC information of previous offending behaviour, safeguarding measures put in place to protect the victim, details of any strategy meetings arranged and the outcome of these, any bails conditions put in place to protect the victim and any court appearances in relation to offences, crimes and the outcome of these.  If the referral is a Police referral the DS shares the log/incident information.

Post MARAC the Police DS will update the officer in charge with the information shared by agencies attending MARAC ensuring they are aware of actions set and that these Police actions are completed to address the risks and needs of the victim, children and perpetrator in each case.

Victim Support

Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA's) represent the views of the victim at MARAC and liaise where possible between the victim and partner agencies to ensure that the safety plan is indeed safe.

IDVA's work with those classed as high risk (14+ yes's on the RIC). They address the safety of victims at high risk of harm from intimate partners, ex-partners or family members to secure their safety and the safety of their children. IDVAs normally work with their clients from the point of crisis to assess the level of risk then discuss the range of suitable options and develop safety plans

What actions can IDVA offer in MARAC?

The actions offered by the Idva will usually reflect work already being done with the victim. This will involve supporting the victim through crisis, discussing options, supporting through criminal/civil process, assisting with housing options, risk assessing and safety planning with the victim and signposting on to other services. Actions may be coordinated with other agencies such as joint meetings. This is particularly effective in initially engaging those victims who have not been contactable prior to Marac but who may be engaged with other services, such as probation or substance misuse support.

Examples of help and support IDVA provides:

  • Help the client to see the risks from the domestic violence.
  • Assist in increasing security in their property.
  • Exploring various housing options, including accessing emergency accommodation.
  • Work with other agencies to help increase a clients safety.
  • Give the client a voice.
  • Listen to the client and their wishes.
  • Advocate on their behalf.
  • Give advice and support to help the client think through their options.
  • Signpost the client to other specialist services such as counselling, housing, legal and refuge services, in order to increase safety and wellbeing.
  • Give advice on criminal and civil remedies available to them.
  • We act on their behalf exploring options through the civil and or criminal courts system.
  • Keep the client up to date with court proceedings.
  • Explain some of the legal jargon and processes.
  • If necessary the IDVA can request that special measures, video link, screens etc. are available for the client on the hearing day.
  • The IDVA can liaise with the witness service to arrange a pre court visit for the client where they can have a look around a courtroom and familiarise themselves with what to expect on the day they are called to give evidence.
  • Inform of their options if a case does not proceed to court.
  • Support them to make their own decisions that are right for them.

Turning the Spotlight

Our Turning the Spotlight service is an innovate service we have been delivering in Cumbria since 2015. We offer extensive support to families or individuals having difficulties in their relationship, experiencing or causing harm and abuse.

It is for couples with or without children who may or may not be remaining in a relationships where standard or medium risk conflict violence and abuse has been identified.

Our programme is designed to prevent abusive behaviour developing as opposed to addressing entrenched abusive behaviour directly and supports clients with the general challenges and conflicts that may lead to patterns of behaviour that are negative and ultimately abusive.  Turning the Spotlight looks at healthy relationships and how to maintain one while helping to address the wider needs that may be impacting on their relationship

We do this through a mixture of 1:1 and group work programmes for both the perpetrator and partner -

  • 12 week healthy relationship programme for perpetrators
  • 7 week partner support programme
  • 4 week parenting course to support them to understand the impact on children and how to minimise this.

You can email the TTS team on or telephone 07919393311.

Children's Services

What information we provide in MARAC

Children's services provide an overview and share relevant information of any historical and/or current involvement the department has had with any child/ren identified within a MARAC referral (i.e CIN, CP, CLA). Any safety plans in place are shared that are specific to the DV element of the concerns. We are also able to identify other significant children whom referring agencies may be unaware of.

In attending MARAC our representative is also able to gather key information pertinent to the safeguarding of children which is then shared with allocated Social workers for the relevant children. 

The type of actions we can offer to help safeguard and support the victim and associated children within a MARAC meeting.

Children's services can offer a view as to whether the child being discussed could be referred to the safeguarding HUB for an assessment. Regarding already opened cases, children's services can offer to talk to the victim, visit with involved agencies if appropriate. Children's services can help with creating safety plans which will safeguard the child from DV. The allocated worker through their involvement always speaks to the child to gather their wishes and feelings.

Actions also see the promoting of joined up working and effective communication between agencies to ensure best practice and safeguarding of all.

Access & Inclusion Officer

As a team we are responsible for Children Missing Education,  Exclusions, School Attendance  and Child Employment.

Within MARAC we are the link with schools to ensure they are aware of the specific families experiencing domestic violence to provide support for the children.

We can offer advice at MARAC within the different specialties of the wider team and link again with schools regarding any actions following MARAC.

Our wider team also includes: School Admissions, Special Educational Needs, Special Advisory Teachers and Education Psychologists.

Mental Health

Who we are.

We are Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust who provide secondary (e.g. not just under GP care or First Step) mental health services for the people of Cumbria.

What we do

We share information within MARAC on behalf of Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust secondary mental health services which includes:

  • CMHART (Community Mental Health Assessment and Recovery Team)
  •  ALIS/HTT (Access and Liaison Integration Service/Home Treatment Team)
  • The acute mental health wards.

The Community Mental Health Assessment and Recovery Team (CMHART) offers assessment and evidence based treatment to adults with severe and enduring mental health needs. Our patients may present with high risks to self or others as a result of their mental health needs and/or with very complex presentations associated with their mental health needs. The Team operates within office hours (Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:00). The Team employs occupational therapists, social workers, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, a CBT therapist and non-registered staff in assistant and supportive roles. CMHART teams offer planned interventions in line with NICE guidance. CMHART teams are not an urgent/acute care service though there is an aspect of unplanned work management.

The ALIS/HTT provides assessment and intensive short term support for people experiencing acute and urgent mental health distress in order to promote recovery. The service is 24 hours and can be provided for people in acute hospitals, their own home, GP surgeries and Police Stations. Treatment aims to be via the least restrictive interventions, however, admission to an acute mental health ward is sometime requires in certain circumstances.

These are all adult services for those aged 18 and over.

In MARAC we provide information on both the perpetrators and victims who are open to us. We share their treatment, information around their diagnosis/difficulties and our care and treatment plans. We will then share the information from MARAC with the mental health care teams of the individual.

We make a note of other agencies involved with the individuals and encourage partnership working.

These services would accept actions from the MARAC for any victims or perpetrators who are open to community caseloads or are currently an inpatient on a ward. Our treatment plans may be amended based upon actions from the MARAC with the aim of trying to safeguard and support those individuals engaged in domestic violence relationships.


Unity is the Alcohol and Drug Recovery Service for Cumbria. We offer individual assessments and Recovery Plans with options for detoxification and Community Rehab where appropriate. We have links with local Recovery networks and can link individuals with other recovery-focused community based groups and a range of partners relevant to the individuals recovery:

  • Residential and Community Rehab - focused on abstinence-based recovery
  • Detox - either in the community or, where necessary, as an inpatient with one of our partner services
  • Opiate Replacement Therapy - using substitute prescribing for a period of time agreed in your Recovery Plan with a view towards planned reduction and/ or detox.

As part of the plan we help individuals build a supportive Recovery network that will enable them to move on with their life.

In MARAC we provide information on both the perpetrators and victims. We share their treatment plans and engagement with our service and all known risks and concerns within the MARAC meeting. We also provide information if they have been referred to our service in the past.

Unity will accept actions from the MARAC for any victims or perpetrators who are working with our service with the aim of safeguarding individuals involved in domestic violence relationships.

Probation CRC

Cumbria and Lancashire Community Rehabilitation Company are responsible for the management of medium and low risk offenders who have been made subject of court orders - custodial and community sentences.

We are involved in MARAC by way of the sharing of information in regards to risk issues for those supervised by us as well as giving factual information in regards to the specific sentence imposed and the progress the individual has made in relation to reducing their risk.

Predominantly our work tends to be with the perpetrator of abuse and therefore the support we can give to safeguard the victim and any children is to engage the perpetrator in meaningful work to address the pattern of behaviour/risk - this can be done by completing 1-1 work with the individual or group work. If the perpetrator has been made subject of the Building Better Relationships accredited programme as part of their court order then support is offered to the victim and/or current partner of the perpetrator by our Women Safety Worker team who advise on the content of the programme and give advice on safety planning and signposting to local agencies for support

The National Probation Service -NPS

Since the Transforming Rehabilitation reforms of 2014 there are now effectively two services providing probation, the National Probation Service and the Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC). The NPS manage all high-risk cases, all Mappa cases and certain other categories.

A representative from the National Probation Service provides an update in MARAC on cases that are currently managed by the Service. The information will consist of current risk of harm levels to the public, known adults, children and staff and any licence conditions or other requirements that are in place to manage those risks. Details of whether the person is currently on post-release licence, post sentence-supervision (PSS) or community orders will also be disclosed and an update on current engagement, attitudes, motivation and risk concerns will be shared. 

  • When an offender is on post-release licence the NPS has potentially a considerable ability to provide protective or control measures to help safeguard victims. For example, we can mandate "no contact" conditions, we can require offenders to reside at an approved premises (probation hostel), we can require drug testing and attendance at domestic violence programmes. If an offender breaks these conditions or there is evidence of increasing risk they may be recalled to custody.
  • When an offender is on a community order or PSS we have less ability to impose restrictions but we will always monitor and share information with partners to manage risks, particularly around safeguarding.
  • The NPS is the lead agency of the Mappa process (Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements) alongside the police and prison service. In cases of significant risk and requiring a multi-agency plan, offenders may be referred to Mappa for risk management meetings. These can run alongside the MARAC with both meetings feeding into each other.


The Integrated Offender Management Scheme is a multi-agency approach with a view to identifying pathways for individuals to address their offending or anti-social behaviour. Police work alongside Probation, CRC, Unity, Children Services, Mental Health, Housing, L&D and Adult Social Care.

All these organisations work together to achieve a common goal, to divert individuals away from criminal activity through support and rehabilitation. The different elements of work used to break the cycle of offending are called pathway support.

The pathways that are proven to address offending are:

  • Training & Education
  • Accommodation
  • Employment
  • Training & Education
  •   Mental & Physical Health
  • Drugs & Alcohol
  • Finance, Benefits & Debt
  •   Children & Families
  • Attitudes, Thinking & Behaviour

We work with agencies to encourage individuals to take up this support. If they fail to engage or are still offending then we act as the final option of enforcement and we will target an individual until such time as they desist from crime and engage or they are put back in prison as a consequence of their offending.

IOM will concentrate on two main groups called Cohorts. The first cohort is made up of volume/acquisitive crime offenders. The second cohort is made up of offenders that pose more risk namely domestic abuse perpetrators, violent offenders and some registered sex offenders. There are 2 Police officers (Offender Managers) assigned in each area of Cumbria (North, South and West).

Nominations to IOM

Any agency can nominate an individual, however, the nominee will need a high level of engagement and determination to change their attitudes and thinking towards their behaviours. Once a nomination is received, it will be screened by the Police, Probation and CRC who will decide if the nominee reaches the required threshold. Once this screening process has been completed, a Joint Agency Group meeting (JAG) is held where the nominee is discussed.

If accepted a clear strategy will be devised indicating the measurable outcomes that are intended to be achieved. Actions will be subsequently identified and allocated to the most appropriate agency. A lead agency will be nominated to deliver the strategy and coordinate the actions of the other partners within the IOM group. This would be either the agency with a statutory responsibility for the individual or the nominating agency. The strategy and actions will be reviewed at each monthly meeting.

To date, numerous persons have benefited from the scheme which has led to reduced re-offending and anti-social behaviour.   

How to nominate

Please see attached nomination form. Once fully completed (including the risk assessment) this should be sent to . Secure email addresses must be used. You will have a decision within 5 working days.

What information we provide in MARAC

Previous offending behaviour and previous/current priority pathways that have been or are currently being addressed. Attitudes/ability to change in terms of lifestyle and offending behaviour (are they responsive to support services and what the level of engagement is). Risk level in terms of what level they are currently at on IOM (BRAG) Any relevant recent/previous intelligence….

The type of actions we can offer to help safeguard and support the victim and associated children within a MARAC meeting

As above. In addition, IOM regularly conduct joint visits to offenders in a domestic/ community/custodial setting. By definition their role involves partnership working and actions can be taken away from the MARAC process to work with key agencies e.g CSD to safeguard victims/children. The OM`s are also involved in intel development that can identify an escalation of risk which can assist in the risk management process

Universal Health Visitors

Universal Health Visitors work with children under 5 and their families  who are not in statutory services i.e. Child Protection, Child in Need or Children looked after . We work as individual professionals seeking out health needs (developmental, parental mental health etc ) or as part of the wider Early Help teams with other agencies. Our main aims are to ensure that children are able to grow up as safely and healthily as possible and are in a position where they feel cared for and by the important adults in their lives

In MARAC we provide information on recent contacts with family and health of the children and offer wider health advice.

We can offer actions in MARAC to arrange family contact and input if there is a health/developmental  need. We can take part in Early Help Meetings to support the families.

Strengthening Families Team

Strengthening Families Team is a county wide team of specialist nurses who assess and plan to address the health and developmental needs of children who have statutory children's services involvement. This responsibility extends from antenatal care to the age of eighteen. We work with families and carers whose children are considered Child In Need, are subject to a Child Protection Plan or who are Looked After Children. We also have responsibility for the assessment of the health and development needs of children placed here as part of the Syrian Refugee Programme during their first year of placement.

Actions following MARAC will be to support the family in addressing health need with attention to a child's physical and emotional safety. Carers will be supported in their mental health needs and signposted to supporting services where indicated.


At MARAC midwifery will provide current information if there is an ongoing pregnancy. We can also provide any details of ED attendance. In the case of an ongoing pregnancy the named community midwife will endeavour to attend MARAC and present the case to the other panel members.

Questions regarding domestic abuse current or previous are asked as a routine part of our antenatal risk assessment. Routine enquiry is made at booking and again at two other intervals throughout the pregnancy.

All midwives receive regular updates on Domestic abuse and its impact on parenting and family support. They are aware of how to escalate any concerns, complete risk assessments, referral to MARAC and Children's safeguarding Hub.

We also have Midwives, Maternity Care Assistants and administration staff within our service who have received further training as Domestic violence and sexual abuse Champions and can provide extra support to both patients and staff.

Allerdale Borough Council

At Allerdale Borough Council we can offer the following:

  • Crisis intervention and access to secure emergency accommodation
  • Personalised help and support to address any immediate safeguarding and longer term rehousing needs
  • Advocacy support working with key partners
  • Access to personal and community safety interventions

We have the housing options team and a Crisis and Support Officer who are dedicated to supporting all victims of domestic abuse.

In MARAC we provide information with regards to any practical support being offered or accepted, any support plan that is in place and current CBL info including banding/ bidding and offers.  

We can offer actions such as a housing options appointment if they haven't already had one to discuss their options. If the individual is an open case we can take actions such as encouraging bidding on CBL, assess banding on CBL, liaise with landlords on their behalf, referral to Crisis and prevention officer etc.

Copeland Borough Council

Copeland Borough Council Housing Options Team are a 24 hour statutory service for households who are homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days. We can offer housing related advice and assistance, and some cases emergency accommodation. The emergency accommodation in Copeland is target hardened to make the occupant/s feel safe and secure, with extra security measures internally and externally. We would then provide assistance to seek independent or supported longer term accommodation.

Within the Housing Options Team, we have a crisis prevention and support officer who will offer support and signpost to other agencies that meet the expectations of the customer. This officer attends the MARAC and has specialist knowledge and experience to offer interventions and ongoing one to one support. The officers works intensively with victims, given them the skills and knowledge to sustain a tenancy in the future.  We have found since establishing this role that we have had few victims returning to the perp and have had less repeat homeless cases.

We also provide facts and information on perpetrators/victims that is current and relevant. We collect a lot of personal information when taking a homeless application such as health needs, dependent children and criminal history. All this can be brought to the MARAC for sharing.

The actions taken from MARAC can include:

  • Contacting victims for appointment
  • Housing Options Advice and personal housing plans with actions set for us and them
  • Registering for Social Housing and increasing bands
  • Offering Emergency Accommodation with tenancy and crisis support
  • Support from the Crisis Prevention and Support Officer
  • Access to the Rent deposit scheme if securing accommodation in the private sector

Home Group

Home Group is a social housing organisation who provides affordable homes for families, couples and individuals in need. Home Group provide support to sustain their tenancy. The local teams carry out risk assessments if domestic violence is suspected or confirmed, to be sure we get the best outcome for our customers. We have a number of trained domestic violence champions and follow safeguarding procedures where relevant.

For MARAC we provide information relating to rent accounts, tenancy details and more than often we can provide information from relationships with our tenants due to visits and ASB cases.

Our actions can be anything from sourcing alternative accommodation where there is a significant threat, supporting a tenant with a move, assignment of tenancy, help with support of rent arrears or making sure they are safe by carrying out safety work to properties i.e lock changes.

In addition, where possible we may look to take enforcement against perpetrators where appropriate to safeguard victims of domestic abuse.

Impact Housing

Impact Housing are a registered social landlord providing social housing throughout Cumbria and North Lancashire.

The information we provide to MARAC relates to involvement we have had with referrals made to MARAC- this could be tenancy information, anti-social behaviour complaints which would be relevant to the MARAC process as well as applications for rehousing.

If we become aware of any domestic violence issues then we can provide support to carry out any target hardening / safety improvements recommendations sent to us from the Community Safety Officer. We can also look to help with rehousing if this is deemed necessary.

Castles & Coasts Housing Association

Castles and Coasts Housing Association is a social housing provider in Cumbria and North East of England. We own 7,000 properties, with a majority being in the West Cumbria area, following the housing merger of Derwent and Solway Housing and Two Castles Housing Associations.

We can provide support and housing advice to MARAC and victims of domestic abuse, assistance with housing applications, offers of accommodation, housing transfers if required, security upgrades if needed to our properties and housing-related legal assistance should any of our tenants need intervention that we can assist with. We can enforce a tenancy agreement where we have evidence that our tenant has been breaching their tenancy agreement. At the meetings, we will provide advice, any relevant information and assistance that is appropriate.

We cover the following areas:






DURHAM CC (districts within Durham)










NORTHUMBERLAND CC (districts within NH)







Adult Social Care

Adult Social Care are a statutory agency who provide relevant and proportionate information to the MARAC meeting for known individuals, in order to contribute to multi agency discussions of risk.

Adult Social Care are the lead agency for Safeguarding Adult concerns and multi agency discussions at MARAC, in relation to domestic abuse, support the safeguarding process to safeguard vulnerable individuals and determine actions taken against perpetrators


Barnardo's exists to transform the lives of the most vulnerable children. We believe children and young people should thrive with the love and support of their families. The services we provide to support these aims include:

  • Early Support - because prevention is better than cure.
  • Family Support - because we can give flexible support to vulnerable children facing a range of difficulties,
  • Emotional Health and Wellbeing - because research now shows that many problems children and families face are related to mental health.

The information we can provide to MARAC:

Information about the children and families we work with include when possible, the voice of the child, current and previous involvement in any of our activities and support interventions and relationship information.

Support available from Barnardo's:

  • Parenting Support to promote safe, loving and supportive relationships
  • Emotional support for children and young people
  • Group and one to one interventions
  • Domestic Abuse Recovery Toolkit (DART) for both adults and children
  • Fun activities for children to promote emotional and physical wellbeing
  • Trauma informed service delivery
  • Barnardo's have regular contact with many families that are sometimes difficult for other agencies to contact so we are able to support initial introductions when appropriate.
  • Barnardos have access to children's centres across the area so can offer safe meeting places when necessary and appropriate.

Howgill Family Centre

Howgill Family centre covers the Copeland Footprint from Lowca to Millom.  We work with families who have children age 0-12 years.

At Howgill Family centre we offer the Recovery Toolkit Programme to victims of Domestic Abuse who have been out of the relationship more than 4 months. This looks at building self-confidence and healthy relationships.

We also offer 1-1 Domestic Violence Recovery Toolkit to children aged 5yrs and over in a school environment. Through this we look at emotions and confidence and healthy relationships. We also work  with children who live with parents who are still in a relationship. This involves doing a lot of work around emotions and feelings.

Howgill offers a wide range of services working with pre-birth offering ongoing programmes for mums and mums to be.

We also offer parenting programmes for parents to give them tools to use when dealing with their child's behaviour.

Howgill can usually offer anything to help and support families with children of the age from 0-12years and if we can't we know who we can refer onto.

We also have a Family Finance worker who can work her magic and support parents in benefits they are entitled to, supporting with debts and appointments and white goods if needed.

The information I share in MARAC is relevant up to date information of what we have done with the family over the year, this can be any 1-1 work we have done, courses completed by parents or children and any concerns we may have about the family.

Freedom Project

West Cumbria Domestic Violence Support, known as The Freedom Project for its day-to- day work, was set up initially to provide counselling/support to adult victims of domestic abuse in West Cumbria (Allerdale and Copeland). Over the years the scope of our work has expanded in response to needs identified by both clients and public agencies such as Children's Services, Health and the Police. This saw us beginning to work with perpetrators from 2003 and children from 2010.

Our mission is to help stop domestic abuse in West Cumbria through the following objectives:

  • Supporting survivors to move on, equipped with the resilience and skills to avoid future abusive relationships
  • Help perpetrators to change their behaviour so that they cease to abuse
  • Act as an advocate so that domestic abuse is kept high on the political agenda
  • Work with partners agencies to promote better integrated services to victims and perpetrators.

Our main services are delivered through the Freedom Project, which consists of:

  • a rolling programme of group sessions with adult victims/survivors;
  • a rolling programme of group sessions for children (primary age and under)
  • a rolling programme of group sessions for older children/young people (secondary age up to 18)
  • one-to-one individual counselling for victims, perpetrators, children/ young people

We provide a Helpline and offer practical support to victims- such as helping them access statutory services - through our team of volunteers. Staff /counsellors attend Multi-Agency case conferences with other agencies where appropriate.

When we attend MARAC meetings we report on if any named persons are known to us, who attended counselling, provide brief information about the dates and number of sessions attended.

Pause Programme

Our Pause programme runs for 18 months at a time with 21 women.

Pause works with women who have experienced the removal of one or more children and are risk of becoming pregnant and having that child removed into the care system. Our practitioners work creatively to offer a bespoke programme of practical and emotional support for up to 18 months. Pause offers women the space they need to take control of their lives and find new ways of overcoming their problems.

Pause Practitioners are creative and solution focussed and draw upon evidence informed interventions which include:

  • Trauma informed practice
  • Systemic practice
  • Strength based approach
  • Motivational interviewing

Pause practitioners offer women:

  • Intensive practical and emotional support in a way they can access it.
  • Dynamic and active intervention
  • Harm reduction
  • Advocacy
  • Multi agency working

As a service we identify any potential women who would benefit from the Pause programme through MARAC. We contribute by sharing information with MARAC in order to safeguard the women we support.  In addition, we will refer to MARAC if a women needs safeguarding.


Cumbria Youth Offending Service is a multi-agency team , created by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and made up of a range of statutory and other key partners. The team is made up of Police, Social Worker, Health, Education, National Probation Service and generic Youth Offending Service (YOS) officers.

In MARAC YOS can provide information on work that is or has been undertaken with the young person and their families. This could include both the perpetrator and victim. To help safeguard children in the family the YOS have a parenting officer who could offer support and advice, also YOS can offer support and advice to the children.

Health & Wellbeing Coach

The Health & Wellbeing Coach Team, Cumbria County Council provide a coaching service to people over the age of 16, who want to make positive changes to their life. Most of the people we work with have faced a period of crisis, or have multiple issues that they need to understand and work through.

Our overall purpose it to improve overall health and wellbeing. In order to do this, we get to know the person/s and what works for them, their aspirations and goals and understanding the barriers to achieving these, together with the support they draw from their personal resources and resources around them.

We encourage and coach to;

  • Take action on factors that influence their health and wellbeing - including their lifestyle, relationships, interests and home life.
  • Become more independent and resilient.
  • Engage with their local communities and social networks

The HAWC Team Leader will attend MARAC to discuss open cases to the team to provide a current summary of involvement, as well as any concerns. The HAWCs also submit and present cases to MARAC for any individuals they are working with and have concerns about.

Individuals can make contact by calling our Single Point of Access (SPA) team and asking to speak to the duty HAWC. 

South Lakes/Barrow   -           0300 303 2704

Copeland/Allerdale      -           0300 303 3589

Eden/Carlisle               -           0300 303 3249

First Step

First Step was set up as part of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapy programme and has been running since 2009. First Step can help adults with a range of common mental health problems including mild to moderate depression, anxiety disorders (such as chronic worry, panic attacks, health anxiety and obsessions), mild bulimia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anger or sleep problems.

The service includes low intensity & high intensity interventions and a counselling stream. Talking treatments (the commons ones being cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling) are designed to help the individual to understand and change your ways of thinking, feeling and acting which can then help the individual to do the things they want to do and live a more satisfying life.

We work primarily within working hours, Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm, however we do have some slightly earlier or later sessions available. We see people at a variety of venues, GP surgeries or central community venues. Referrals can be received from GP or other health care professionals, however First Step also accept self-referrals. These can be made by any clients who are registered to a Cumbrian GP and have a Cumbrian address.

Approximately 80% of the referrals received are self-referrals although this is not the most effective or safest pathway if someone has seen a health professional. In these instances it is best practice for them to make the direct referral and share relevant information.

We often offer treatment to some patients referred to MARAC and we attend the meetings to provide a clinical picture of the individual and the work being completed between the individual and the therapist. Within the meetings we are also able to offer advice regarding individuals who may benefit from our service. Our service communicates closely with various agencies to share relevant information which would help safeguard the victim and any associated children such as contact with children's services or Health visitors involved with the family.

Safety Net

At Safety Net (UK) we support the recovery of those affected by rape, exploitation, sexual and domestic abuse.

Our specialist trauma informed services include:

  • Advice, information and helpline
  • Practical and emotional support, and advocacy
  • Therapy and counselling
  • Prevention and training
  • Education and work in schools

We provide a holistic recovery model, working in partnership with other professionals and community groups to improve wellbeing and quality of life.

Early Help

Early Help is the response made when a professional identifies needs with a child/family and works with another agency or agencies to meet those needs. 

At this level of need an Early Help Assessment (EHA) is completed with the child and family to identify needs and agreed desired outcomes.  A good assessment of needs and the establishment of achievable and measurable outcomes is an essential element of effective early help.  Any worker from a service that supports families can initiate this process.

An EHA can be carried out with any child or young person from pre-birth up to age 19 (up to the age of 25 if the young person has a learning difficulty or disability).

The completion of an EHA would trigger a response from different agencies.  A date is set for a Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting, in order to identify a co-ordinator, agree the plan and which agency would work to achieve each of the agreed outcomes.

When a professional or group of professionals is concerned about how to deliver the plan or are unable to identify an appropriate co-ordinator, the case should be taken to the Area Early Help and Family Support Panel.

There are Early Help Officers in each district and based in the Safeguarding Hub who can give advice, guidance and support with Early help Assessments .  There details can be found at

Focus Families

Focus Family work supports professionals to work in a holistic family centred way.  Evidence suggests this approach helps to maintain improvements in a family.

The drive for Focus Family work is to help adults into employment / volunteering / training with the aim that mental health & emotional wellbeing is improved and the family move out of poverty. 

The Focus Family Team has identified enough families to meet our commitment for Phase 2 of The Troubled Families Project. Currently, we plan to deliver the same level of support to families and agencies until March 2020.

The phase 2 Focus Family criteria are:

  • ASB/Crime
  • Not attending school regularly
  • Worklessness
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Health
  • Children who need help

We can be contacted via our Focus Family Mailbox:

Carlisle City Council

Carlisle City Council's Homeless Prevention and Accommodation Services provides a range of specialist support and practical assistance to safeguard individuals and families, which supports the MARAC process.

The services provide enhanced housing and support services, which include:

  • Statutory homelessness and housing advice and assistance
  • Intensive support and specialist interventions for those identified at risk of homelessness or experiencing  homelessness as a direct result of domestic abuse or exploitation
  • Provision of supported secure emergency and safe house accommodation
  • Safeguarding, risk and needs assessments and referrals including MARAC
  • Rehousing, sanctuary, injunction applications and personal safety support measures
  • Specialist welfare advice and income maximisation support
  • Support to move home safely and sensitively, including out of area


Riverside are a Housing association and registered provider of social housing nationwide. As a social landlord we provide support to people of all ages and circumstances. We transform lives by providing well maintained, good quality affordable housing whilst creating opportunities to increase household income through our programmes of employment, affordable warmth and money advice. Through our housing, care and support services we enable people facing a wide variety of challenging circumstances to lead more resilient and independent lives. We revitalise neighbourhoods by building new homes, creating and maintaining green spaces and bringing people together through our community engagement programmes.

We have properties across the Carlisle and Eden area, and provide information to MARAC regarding tenancies, housing applications and rehousing requests.

Actions which we complete following MARAC referrals include advice regarding housing, repairs and other tenancy related issues.

Eden Housing

Eden Housing Association carries out the statutory homelessness and housing advice service on behalf of Eden District Council.  The team provides specialist housing advice and assistance, temporary accommodation and explores future housing options.  We also have a Crisis and Prevention Support Worker who is part of the County Wide Domestic Abuse Partnership (DAP).  This is a qualified IDSVA, providing specialist advice and support to those who are at risk of homelessness and experiencing domestic abuse within Eden.

In MARAC we share information on:

  • Housing history
  • Damage to property
  • Support provided
  • Detail of ASB complaints
  • Details of liaison with other agencies
  • Information on disclosures

In MARAC we can offer to support those experiencing/fleeing abuse (if they are also at risk of homelessness), provide temporary accommodation, offer housing advice and assistance, arrange repairs to property and offer assistance with Cumbria Choice and applying for alternative housing

Gateway 4 Women

Gateway 4 Women is a not-for-profit organisation offering support to all women in a safe, welcoming and women-only space. We support women with a range of vulnerabilities, including; mental wellbeing, homelessness and housing related difficulties, those undergoing drug and alcohol rehabilitation, those suffering domestic abuse, debt and money management, and social isolation, to name a few. We are open to all women - some may simply wish to come down for a chat and a cuppa and meet new people!

Our aim is to encourage, enable and empower women to unlock their potential by accessing support, learning new skills, gaining qualifications, building confidence and self-esteem, developing social skills, and thus improve overall wellbeing. To do this, we offer a variety of support groups, workshops, 1-1 support, therapeutic activities, and education and training courses. We work closely with  local agencies including UNITY Drug & Alcohol Services, Probation Services, Carlisle Job Centre and Carlisle & Eden Citizens Advice Bureau, in order to be provide support in a holistic manner, bringing services into our Centre where possible, as opposed to signposting women out.

A Peer Support Worker attends MARAC to represent any women that they have supported through the RIC process, MARAC referral and subsequent one to one or group support.

Gateway4Women can offer any victim further support after MARAC if they choose to register with us. Support can be in the form of one to one appointments, benefits/housing advice, personal development courses and healthy relationship courses. Our courses are subject to registration within the centre and dependent on waiting lists although we do try our very best to accommodate any woman in urgent need.


Inspira offer careers information advice and guidance for both adults and young people.

Our mission is to give young people and adults the skills and confidence they need to reach their potential in work, life and society by offering a wide range of free services and programmes.

Inspira offers a weekday drop-in for young people, up to 18 years old, to gain careers information, advice and guidance, between 1pm - 5pm. We work in schools providing targeted Careers, Information, Advice and Guidance to young people predominantly from year 11 onwards.

We also deliver National Citizen Service for 15 - 17 year olds. This includes two residential programmes and delivery of a social action project as part of a team over the summer.

Adults from 18 years old can access our services and programmes including National Careers Service one to one and group appointments and bespoke pre employment programmes designed to assist people back into employment. We provide accredited vocational training alongside employability skills to enhance employment prospects for our customers.

Information sharing from MARAC enables us to identify the associated children and tailor our service. We will support the raising of aspirations of associated child victims through careers guidance and support any transition in learning as well as supporting adult victims to explore career ideas and develop employability skills.

We work with the most vulnerable young people, for example, young people with learning difficulties, looked after children and those at risk of NEET.

Actions from MARAC for Inspira can be meeting with the young person in school and ensuring that school are aware of the discussion.

Inspira's National careers Service contract can also help the adult victim by offering appointments to help with training or returning to work where appropriate.

The Inspira office for Carlisle and Eden can be located at 28 Lowther Street, Carlisle, CA3 8DH or contacted on 01228 596 272.

The contact details for the Inspira office for Barrow is 237-241 Dalton Road, Barrow-in-Furness. 01229 824052

Barrow Borough Council

Barrow Borough Council provides a range of services to the general public. This includes the delivery of their statutory duty to tackle homelessness in the Borough. The role for the representative who attends MARAC is to acknowledge people suffering domestic abuse may need to be assisted with their accommodation under the homeless legislation so that they can be provided with a safe place to live, to give advice and assistance with appropriate housing options and solutions.

We can offer information about homeless duties in MARAC and solutions to problems that victims may be experiencing with their tenancies either local authority or private landlord.

South Lakes Housing

In MARAC we can provide advice about Cumbria choice, information on addresses and any issues of ASB or rent areas and offer to look at internal transfers for tenants that have been victims of domestic abuse.

South Lakeland District Council Housing Options Team

We are a statutory service providing advice and assistance to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. 

We can provide information to MARAC regarding victims and perpetrators known to our service, which could include details of the household makeup, tenancy issues, and whether individuals have been accepted onto the housing register. Although SLDC has access to the housing register (Cumbria Choice) and can look at banding applications appropriately, we do not own any housing stock in the district. In some cases we will have a duty to provide emergency, short-term accommodation to those who make a homeless application. We can also advise individuals and agencies on housing options and tenancy rights and help to facilitate a planned move where possible.'


As a small South Lakes charity we run two services:

  • a 7 bed refuge for women fleeing domestic abuse
  • a community support hub for those affected by domestic abuse.

The refuge provides safe, comfortable accommodation with person centred emotional and practical support to help women recover and start to rebuild their lives. Women living in the refuge are invited to take part in the groups at the community hub. The refuge can only house women without children.

The community hub provides one to one emotional and practical support and group work including Recovery Toolkit, a weekly drop in group for clients and various courses throughout the year such as Self Esteem and Confidence Building.

In some circumstances 6 sessions of specialist counselling are also provided to survivors of abuse. We mainly support women but do have a small number of male clients (no groups for men) and our focus is on helping people recover and move forward . Some of our clients are still in the abusive relationship. We can't currently offer support to under 18's.

We accept self and agency referrals. The community hub is open Mon-Thurs 9-5 and Fri 9-1.

Contact details:

Springfield Refuge 01539 720313

Springfield Community Hub 01539 726171

Women's Community Matters

Women's Community Matters is a an independent charity based in The Nan Tait Centre , Barrow . We opened our doors on the 25th November 2013 with the sole remit of helping to support women whatever their presenting needs are , no judgement , no long extended waiting period , ready to welcome women into the service and ready to work alongside them . We offer drop-in activities , personal development courses, one to one appointments and access to a free clothes bank .

Women's Community Matters work to support other agencies engagement with our client base by simply be there , often women will struggle to access external agencies without having someone to attend with them . This pays dividends for both agencies and clients alike, with better outcomes with engagement , completed work and hopefully an improvement in the clients situation overall . We have a staff base which compromises many areas of expertise and we have a wide variety of partnership agencies we refer to for specialist services.

In MARAC we are able to suggest engagement with our service if appropriate and access information about what other agencies may be working with our clients , thus providing a more cohesive support package .

Kendal Urgent Treatment Centre

We are now called Kendal Urgent Treatment Centre (previously PCAS). We are a GP led minor injuries and illnesses unit. We see walk in patients and those brought in by ambulance from anything from a stroke to a wound.

The service offers patient assessment and treatment for a wide range of non-life threatening conditions from strains and sprains to broken bones and minor illnesses. Various assessments such as x-rays are available between the hours of 9am-8pm (with on call cover overnight). Appointments can be pre-booked via NHS 111.

Patients who visit the UTC will be seen as quickly as possible, in order of their clinical need. Between 11pm and 8am GP cover is provided by CHoC, and may be limited due to on call duties. Out of hours it is recommended that patients contact NHS 111.

GPs can refer patients to the UTC for assessment and diagnosis to decide the best place for them to receive their treatment. This assessment process avoids unnecessary admissions and ambulance journeys to the acute hospitals.

Patients who present in the UTC with serious or life threatening conditions may be transferred to A&E at the RLI, FGH or Royal Preston Hospital (RPH).

The UTC is not able to treat emergencies such as, central chest pain, severe breathing difficulties, mental health issues or suspected strokes etc. Patients who experience these conditions need to be treated urgently so should either dial 999 or attend the Emergency Departments at either the Royal Lancaster Infirmary or Furness General Hospital in Barrow.

Through assessment we identify if patients have been a victim of domestic violence and complete the MARAC referral and RIC checklist. If we identify these patients, we then refer to MARAC and will attend to discuss the case and highlight to other agencies.

Action for Children Furness - Barrow and Dalton Early Help

Action for Children Furness Sure Start Children's Centres are commissioned by Cumbria County Council to deliver a range of services across the Barrow and Dalton area for families with children ages 0-12.

Our Early Help children and family hubs play an important role in providing children across our communities the best start in life and their parents the support they need.

 Our services range from Targeted Programmes  (e.g. The Recovery Toolkit - a 12 week programme for women who have experienced Domestic Abuse; Triple P Parenting Programme and Helping Hands - a 10 week programme that supports children's understanding of such things as feeling safe, promoting positive behaviours and developing their emotional resilience); 1-to-1 Child/Family Support, Children's Centre Services and Furness Child Contact Centre. 

To find out more information on the services we provide, including a timetable and referral form, please click on the link below:

In MARAC we share information regarding any concerns we have with regards to potential, historical or present domestic abuse within any families known to our service. Any dash risk assessments completed that meet the threshold are referred to MARAC to be discussed at the next meeting.

Action for Children can offer Intensive Family Support working holistically with the whole family, supporting parents when their children are subject to statutory plans in partnership with children's services, Early Help support including initiating and leading Early Help plans, Evidence based programmes to support emotional resilience, parenting, healthy lifestyles and recovering from being in DV relationships. As well as offering a wide range of preventative and universal services to reduce social isolation and allow families' to engage within their community.

Carlisle Key

Carlisle Key is a charity that works with 16 to 25 year olds who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homeless.  The services we provide include:

  • Homeless & Housing Advice
  • Money Management 
  • Welfare Benefits Advice
  • Support with form filing
  • Tenancy  Advice and Advocacy
  • Computer Access 
  • Use of Telephone
  • Counselling services
  • Employability Advice and Guidance
  • 1 to 1 External Support
  • Referral to other agencies and practical support

Carlisle Key works within the MARAC protocol and supports young people experiencing domestic violence to report crimes and seek support.  We  follow the safeguarding guidelines in reporting concerns regarding children and co-ordinate Early Helps when required and support young people to work with other agencies to improve safety and life chances for themselves and their children.  We support young males to take responsibility for their actions and to work with agencies to face their past history and how to move forward.

Westfield Housing Association

Growing from its community base Westfield Housing Association is a social housing landlord offering a mix of family homes, bungalows, flats and over 55s homes. The association owns and manages around 600 homes, all located within the borough of Allerdale.

In MARAC we provide information regarding support given or being offered to victims of domestic abuse and any knowledge we have on addresses and victims or perpetrators listed.

We can offer actions to provide support as identified by the Community Safety Team, carry out security measures for example extra locks, cameras or security lighting,  carry out joint visits with Victim Support and attend safeguarding meetings. We can also offer priority housing for applicants experiencing DV&SA and how to progress with these applications.


Homestays is connected to Fostering in Childrens Services. It supports CIN, adoption breakdowns, LAC and care leavers aged from 16 to 25. We support Homestays providers who offer a bedroom in their home under a supported lodging scheme to young people who are in education, training or employment. The young person should not be high risk or pose a threat to others. They are accommodated in a family home and are given support to learn how to live independently. The referral process is through their social worker. The placement can last up to 3 years but is reviewed regularly.

Because the service works with many families and young people we could have information that might be relevant to the meetings that other agencies may not have. There are three Homestays Advisors based in the county.

Fire Service

Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service provide information to MARAC on any fire safety visits and knowledge of addresses prior to MARAC. We then respond to any actions set from MARAC.

The types of actions and support we can provide include arranging a 'Safe & Well' visit to give fire safety advice, putting prevention measures in place such as smoke alarms or if arson threats have been made providing a letterbox lock.

If the victim is not aware of the referral we can organise a street safe to target the occupant and then feed back to MARAC.

Liaison & Diversion Team

The Liaison and Diversion Service works within Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust. Liaison and Diversion intends to improve the health and justice outcomes for adults and young people who come into contact with the youth and criminal justice systems where a range of complex health and social care needs are identified as factors in their offending behaviour.

Our services are delivered within Police Custody Suites, Magistrates Courts and Crown Courts across Blackburn, Blackpool, Burnley, Lancaster, Preston, Skelmersdale, Carlisle, Barrow, Workington and Kendal.

The key principle of the service is that where identified, people of all ages in contact with the youth and criminal justice systems are screened; and where appropriate assessed or referred for specialist assessment, so that those with mental health problems, learning disabilities, cognitive disorders, substance misuse problems, financial, housing and many other vulnerabilities are identified as soon as possible in the justice pathway. Those in contact with the youth or criminal justice systems as a result of being suspected of having committed a criminal offence are, where appropriate, referred to appropriate treatment and intervention services.

The remit of the service is to undertake assessments in criminal justice settings for persons who have been arrested. Dependent upon the outcome of the assessment, the practitioner will either facilitate the diversion of the individual away from the criminal justice system and into health care, alternatively the person will be referred on to other services that will provide support or care whilst they continue to be dealt with by the criminal justice system. We also provide court related services which offer greater support to the judiciary and access to the relevant provider services for those persons who find themselves before the court.

Our referrals are mainly received from within the Criminal Justice settings; Police Custody Suites and the Courts.

We accept referrals from any Criminal Justice Agency, Solicitors, Health Providers, Substance Misuse Services, Concerned or Interested Person and Self-Referral.

We will always share information on a need to know basis. Where we have consent from the service user, this makes it much easier in terms of what we can share, which could be a risk assessment and care plan and levels of engagement with ourselves or other services, but otherwise, without consent, we will share information based on risk and a need to know basis.

Our service supports those who are suspected of committing an offence or who have been arrested for an alleged offence to access the correct services and provide brief intervention whilst a service user is on a waiting list.  

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust (UHMBT)

UHMBT provides acute and some community based services, throughout Cumbria and Lancashire.

A representative from the UHMBT Safeguarding Team attends the MARAC meetings and provides up to date and relevant information from all our departments. Information is made available for perpetrators, victims and any associated children.

The Trust has a Domestic Abuse policy that is available for all staff to access, in addition to our Duty Safeguarding Nurse who is available Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.


MARAC Agencies

  • MARAC Chair
  • Police DS
  • Victim Support
  • Turning the Spotlight
  • Children's Services
  • Access & Inclusion Officer
  • Mental Health
  • Unity
  • Probation CRC
  • The National Probation Service-NPS
  • IOM
  • Nominations to IOM
  • Universial Health Visitors
  • Strengthening Families Team
  • Midwifery
  • Allerdale Borough Council
  • Copeland Borough Council
  • Home Group
  • Impact Housing
  • Castles & Coasts Housing Association
  • Adult Social Care
  • Barnardos
  • Howgill Family Centre
  • Freedom Project
  • Pause Programme
  • YOS
  • Health & Wellbeing Coach
  • First Step
  • Safety Net
  • Early Help
  • Focus Families
  • Carlisle City Council
  • Riverside
  • Eden Housing
  • Gateway 4 Women
  • Inspira
  • Barrow Borough Council
  • South Lakes Housing
  • South Lakeland District Council Housing Options Team
  • Springfield
  • Women's Community Matters
  • Kendal Urgent Treatment Centre
  • Action for Children Furness-Barrow and Dalton Early Help
  • Carlisle Key
  • Westfield Housing Association
  • Homestays
  • Fire Service
  • Liaison & Diversion Team
  • University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust (UHMBT)