Sometimes children and families may need extra support. One way of providing support to them is to use the Common Assessment Framework or CAF.
The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is a tool to support early intervention, this means 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 an assessment that looks at the issues affecting the family with a strong focus on how to improve the situation and who are the best agencies to support them.
The process is entirely voluntary and informed consent from the parent or 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 completed by any professional that they trust.
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 or Family (TAC/F) meeting.