Common Assessment Framework (CAF)
Sometimes your child may need extra support. It could be before they are born, when they are very young or when they are at school. One way of providing support to them is to use the Common Assessment Framework or CAF.
Working with children and families
The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is a tool to support early intervention. When used effectively it ensures families receive the right support at an early stage before a small need grows into a larger one. It is intended to be used as a holistic assessment of need to support multi-agency working.
The process is entirely voluntary and informed consent from the parent/carer and or young person is mandatory, so families do not have to engage and if they do they can choose what information they want to share. Children and families should not feel stigmatised by the CAF; indeed they can ask for a CAF to be initiated.
Following the completion of the assessment an action plan, agreed by the family, will be put into place and monitored to ensure that it is effective. Sometimes it is helpful to hold a multi agency meeting including the family so that information can be shared to enable everyone to plan the next steps together. This meeting is referred to as a Team Around the Child (TAC) meeting.
Further information for parents and for children and young people about the Common Assessment Framework
Information for people working with children and families
Anyone whose work brings them into contact with children and families should have an awareness of the Common Assessment Framework and either know how to complete a CAF themselves or know how to arrange to have one carried out. Everyone working with children should be aware of the sorts of situations that indicate the need for a CAF. Every organisation offering services to children will need to ensure at least some of their staff are equipped to complete CAFs.