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This content originally appeared in our newsletter between July and October 2013 and reflected our views at the time. 

From administrative to strategic management duties, Marac coordinators can cover a whole multitude of roles. Coordinators from across the country offer their top tips for effective working.

Building awareness

Creating promotional materials
“As part of my role, I'm responsible for identifying and engaging with new agencies to ensure they're represented at Marac. To help with this, I've put together a leaflet and poster, asking professionals to 'Remember Marac', which explains what the Marac is and how to refer in a case. I have circulated these to all Marac representatives and asked them to leave them in key places around their offices to help encourage a wide range of agency referrals.” Beth Aynsley, Cardiff

Holding events
“I've been a coordinator for five years now, and helped to set up the Marac process in this area. We've had good relationships with agencies throughout this time, and I think one of the things that has helped this are the ongoing Marac awareness events, which we run twice a year. This helps to promote Marac within agencies: particularly those where staff turnover is high. It gives a real insight into domestic abuse and Marac, and explores how partner agencies fit into the process. Where appropriate, we also invite survivors who have been through the Marac process themselves to speak, which really helps to emphasise to attendees why they should be referring into Marac. I also follow this up with specific team training for agencies if they require it.” Pip Burrows, North Worcestershire

Training and collaboration

Be visible
“In Cumbria we are always looking to recruit other organisations who may benefit the Marac process, as well as increase referrals. Delivering free training throughout the county and attending team meetings to raise awareness has helped to increase the number of referrals we receive.” Joanne Belas, Cumbria

A point of contact
“My role is really varied: I obviously work closely with our main partner agencies, but I also liaise with a wide range of potential referral agencies. While communication and organisation are key, collaborating with such a large number of teams means it's the little things make a huge difference too: always being available as a point of contact for any queries, giving positive feedback when things have worked well and generally making the Marac meeting a comfortable and welcoming environment can really help. Biscuits always go down well too – especially chocolate!” Sonia Knight, West Sussex

Local links
“In addition to a regional Humberside steering group, here in North Lincolnshire we regularly hold one at a local level too. This means that our key agencies can all input into any decisions that are made regarding the running of the Marac. I think this helps to make everyone feel as though Marac is something that belongs to us all and is a big support to me as coordinator.” Kristy Burns, North Lincolnshire (Scunthorpe)

Before and after the meeting

Engaging with agencies
“I check outstanding actions and chase agencies prior to the meeting by emailing them a copy of their outstanding actions. Similarly, if the number of referrals seems low, I often send a polite reminder to agencies informing them of the cut-off date and inviting them to submit their referrals.” Karen Lolotte, Suffolk

Planning ahead
“All the reps are given the dates for the following year's Marac meeting every October, so they can plan ahead more easily and ensure they are available to attend.” Alan Thompson, Oxfordshire

Feeding back
“I record statistics on all Marac cases for our strategic public protection unit, such as contributory factors and case analysis (whether it's a repeat, how many children are in the home, pregnancies, vulnerable people etc). I also provide a breakdown according to whether the victim is from a BAMER community, identifies as LGBT, is disabled, whether they are male and, more recently, if the victim or perpetrator is aged 16–17 years. This information is then used to review local services by our strategic group.” Wendy Whiteley, Halton and Warrington