Guidance for multi-agency forums: Safeguarding children effectively

Guidance to support professionals working with cases involving children

This report provides guidance to multi-agency forums on the appropriate safeguarding of child victims of domestic abuse.

It outlines the large overlap between direct harm to children and domestic abuse. In addition to the significant harm caused by witnessing or overhearing the abuse of another, SafeLives’ data shows that almost two thirds of children exposed to domestic abuse are also directly harmed. In almost 91% of cases the direct harm was perpetrated by the same person as the domestic abuse – principally their father or mother’s male partner.

The primary focus of the Marac process is to safeguard the victim and their children. However, as highlighted in a recent serious case review, Maracs must ‘consider not just the victim, but all children who [may] remain at risk from the perpetrator’.

This guidance offers tips for researching cases, sharing information and action planning when working with cases involving children. It also provides advice for commissioners and strategic groups, including Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards (LSCBs), on working with Maracs.

We recommend using this guidance to review Marac operating protocols and information sharing agreements locally. This guidance would also be useful to other multi-agency forums, particularly Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (Mash).

What this report contains

  • Before you start
    • Working with children’s social care
  • Get the right people around the table
    • Children’s social care
    • Other relevant agencies
  • Do your research
    • Children’s social care
    • Police
    • All representatives
  • Identify all risks affecting the family
    • Young people living with abuse
  • Write a plan which includes actions to safeguard children
    • Some key questions to consider when action planning
  • Link in with other safeguarding arrangements
    • What does this mean in practice?
  • Acknowledgements

It also provides various external links and resources about supporting and safeguarding child victims of domestic abuse

You may also be interested in

Woman looking out over balcony

Children and young people

Find out more about Safe Young Lives our programme of work across the UK to reduce the risk experienced by young people and to improve the care pathways they can access.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive our monthly newsletters about the latest training, events, research and fundraising initiatives at SafeLives. Together, we can end domestic abuse, for everyone, for good.

Sign up