Guidance for multi-agency forums: Older people

How multi-agency forums can support older victims and survivors of domestic abuse

This briefing provides guidance to multi-agency forums on older people’s experiences of domestic abuse and the barriers they may face in accessing support. The guidance also outlines how Maracs and multi-agency forums can work effectively together to support such victims.

Historically there have been inconsistent or lower levels of reports of domestic abuse towards older people resulting in older people being considered part of a ‘hidden’ group. The reasons for inconsistent approaches to support for older victims of domestic abuse include factors such as:

  • services typically being set up with younger clients in mind
  • older people being less likely to call 999
  • particular cultural or generational attitudes that often exist towards marriage and family life.

Abuse can often be hidden behind other physical and mental health conditions, and a lack of awareness among some professionals prevents recognition of this underlying cause.

What this guidance contains

  • Aim of this report
  • What’s different about older victims’ experiences of domestic abuse?
    • Engagement with services
    • Financial and housing issues
    • Health/mental health issues
  • Prior to Marac
    • Set up a single point of contact with a trusted professional
    • Arrange a strategy/professionals meeting
  • Get the right people around the table
    • Adult social care
    • Mental health and health
    • Other relevant agencies
  • Do your research
    • Adult social care
    • Police
    • Health/mental health
    • All representatives
  • Effective action planning
    • Has entry been denied to a professional during a visit (planned or unannounced)?
    • Has any agency had meaningful engagement with the victim?
    • Have the victim’s views been expressed?
    • Is the statutory responsibility being fulfilled?
    • Are the appropriate experts taking the lead, and a single point of contact nominated?
    • Are appropriate protocols/plans in place and have they been communicated to all relevant agencies?
    • Have the victim’s finances been considered?
    • Have cultural barriers or differences been identified?
    • Are you following your local policies, protocols and procedures for safeguarding adults?
    • Could Marac agencies (such as the Idva service or adult social care) facilitate engagement with victims through other organisations?
  • Outside the Marac meeting
    • If you’re part of a Marac strategic or governance group
    • If you’re a commissioner
    • Maracs and local safeguarding adult boards (LSABs)
    • If you’re a health/mental health professional
    • If you work in Wales

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