HRDA is a local, multi-agency, whole family focused process where information is shared on the highest risk cases of domestic violence and abuse between different statutory and voluntary sector agencies. HRDA builds on the previously used MARAC (Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference) model that continues to operate in BCP (Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole) and other parts of the UK. HRDA brings together daily practitioner meetings and a monthly management meeting.

About HRDA

High Risk Domestic Abuse (HRDA) is a multi-agency response to high risk cases of domestic abuse in Dorset. HRDA combines a range of multi-agency functions which complement one another to increase the safety of people experiencing domestic abuse and their families (or known individuals) who are at high risk of harm / future harm and reducing the risk of domestic homicide. HRDA works to core principles:

  • faster, coordinated and collaborative response to the whole family affected by domestic abuse, including perpetrators and children
  • support and interventions to manage risk are provided closer to the timing of the incident
  • consistent threshold is applied to high risk domestic abuse cases
  • specialist domestic abuse worker ensures the voice of the person is represented at the planning stage
  • a simplified process that enables practitioners to respond to disclosures in a timely way and supports defensible decision making
  • a model that is efficient, effective, takes advantage of digital solutions and based on evidence of best practice
  • addresses the unique needs of all families with protected characteristics
  • has clear measurable outcomes
  • utilises existing resources to provide better outcomes

Need for a Multi-Agency approach

Within the context of domestic abuse, it is recognised that no one agency of partner holds all the information required to effectively assess the needs of victims and their children or to fully assess the risk of serious harm or homicide to victims. Also, in most cases the support of more than one agency is required to ensure the longer-term safety of the victim and their children.  

HRDA enables the available information to be safely shared across relevant partner agencies and multi-agency bodies including MAPPA (Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements) and both child and adult safeguarding conferences, resulting in a clearer picture of the risk level. This also supports a more comprehensive action plan to be developed to identify and agree risks plus mitigating factors with clear ownership to reduce the risk of harm to the victim and their children. 

This approach supports the development of a whole family approach in our work. As such the responsibility to take appropriate action rests with individual agencies; it is not transferred to the HRDA.

Agencies should not wait until a case has been discussed within HRDA before taking necessary action or giving advice or access to services. It is vital for a victim to receive help prior to the meeting and information regarding this brought to the HRDA. HRDA aims to facilitate and promote the core values and principles that underpin effective multi-agency working to support adults, children and the whole family.

It is important to always follow your organisations safeguarding procedures.


  • Dorset Police
  • Children Social Care
  • Specialist Domestic Abuse Worker
  • Adult Social Care
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Probation
  • Substance Misuse
  • Education (* HRDA Plus)
  • Specialist domestic violence and abuse services providers

Practitioner meetings

Practitioner meetings are held virtually on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 12pm prompt. A monthly management meeting is held once, on the second Tuesday of each month.

See further information about the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole MARAC (Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference)

Share this page