SORAM (Sex Offender Risk Assessment and Management) is a multi-agency approach to assessing and managing the risk posed by convicted sexual offenders in the community.
SORAM is made up of representatives from the Irish Police (An Garda Siochána), Probation Service, Child and Family Agency, Health Service Executive, local authorities, and the Irish Prison Service. The National Office manages and oversees the programme on a daily basis. The structure is used in all 28 Police Divisions across the country.
For offenders who are eligible for consideration, a filtering system is in place to ensure that the most resources are applied to those who pose the greatest risk. At its most basic, a static risk assessment instrument is used first, and if the offender is rated medium or higher and is under court-ordered probation supervision, the person may be included in the multi-agency arrangements.
A model was adopted and involved a national (oversight) committee and a national co-located committee office, in collaboration with local area teams, where applicable management is being carried out. The National SORAM office is overseen by the Steering Group, they provide best practice guidance, training, and support to the regional SORAM teams in your area. Meeting on a regular basis, they review risk and protective measures and devise case management strategies for people convicted of sexual offences who live in the neighbourhood.
A list of qualifying sex offenders is compiled in each local SORAM team area, and a joint risk management plan is developed using risk assessment instruments and additional information known to each agency. This plan is then reviewed on a regular basis based on the information reported by each agency pertaining to the offender in question. The dynamic assessment instrument is used by the local SORAM team to guide a jointly agreed risk management plan for those higher risk cases deemed eligible for inclusion in SORAM. When a child protection issue is identified, the Tusla (Child and Family Agency) Principal Social Worker is actively involved. The risk factors are then reviewed on a regular basis, and appropriate changes to the risk management plan are made as needed.