Innovation Exchange

Multi-Agency Domestic Abuse Response Team (MADART)


Key activities

Benefits and impacts


Community Planning partners in North Ayrshire are working effectively together by pooling resources to address the needs of victims of domestic abuse and their children to make North Ayrshire a safer place to live. The partners have created a Multi-Agency Domestic Abuse Response Team (MADART) comprising of two Social Workers, a Housing Officer, an Independent Domestic Abuse Advisor and an administrator. They are co-located within Kilmarnock police station together with the Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit and ASSIST (Advocacy, Support, Safety, Information and Services Together specialist domestic abuse service operated by Women’s Aid). Improved communication, information sharing and professional expertise all combine to provide timely, proportionate and effective support to those affected by domestic abuse.

Theme: Partnership and Collaboration

north ayrshire council logo

The MADART has now been operational since 2012 and it has had a significant impact by providing the right service to the right people at the right time, effectively creating opportunities for the victims of domestic abuse to have improved outcomes. Best value, particularly in the use of scarce resources is secured by only referring those children most in need of care and protection to the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) and comprehensive social work assessments for SCRA are now more appropriately targeted.


The previous practice of ‘blanket’ referral to SCRA of all incidents, which often caused additional stress for victims by unnecessarily challenging them about how they would protect their children, has been eradicated. The MADART undertakes initial holistic assessments, and ensures that only those most at risk and potentially in need of statutory intervention are referred on.

Key benefits are:


  • Repeat referrals will usually be dealt with by the same Social Worker, offering continuity and familiarity
  • Multi Agency collaboration
  • Initial assessment provided as an immediate intervention
  • Reduction in referrals to the Children’s Reporter, and a reduction in report requests to Children and Family Area Teams


This significant reduction in the number of cases being dealt with by SCRA allows it to focus more on those children most in need. In addition, fewer reports are requested of social workers, teachers and health visitors, again allowing them to more effectively, and comprehensively assess and plan for those children most in need.


In constructing this core team as a central conduit for partner agencies to come together, we have removed the walls that separated the services, and rebuilt them to house a coalition of skills and networks, allowing agencies to function as one.

The MADART plays a very significant role in helping to make North Ayrshire a safer place to live in and also contributes towards ensuring our children are safe and cared for in a nurturing home.


There were a number of key outcomes anticipated with the establishment of the MADART. All have been achieved and evidenced.


  • Reduce the number of children referred to SCRA – 48% reduction in the number of children referred and a 53% reduction in the overall number of referrals.
  • Reduce the number of formal report requests – 20% reduction in the number of report requests relating to domestic abuse incidents.
  • A faster response to the needs of children impacted by the effects of domestic violence – Average follow-up response time reduced from 10.7 days to 1.6 days.
  • In the longer term, reduce the levels of domestic abuse in North Ayrshire – In the first year following MADART launching we saw a 5% reduction in the number of incidents on the previous year after a steady increase over the previous four years.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:


Mark Inglis

Senior Manager, Intervention Services

North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership

01294 317794

Case study added to site: June 2016

Please report any errors using this web form

Improvement Service, working in partnership with

solace scotland logo