The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is a key part of delivering frontline services that are integrated and focused around the needs of children and young people. It is a standardised approach used by practitioners to assess children’s additional needs and decide how these should be met.
The CAF is a four step process whereby practitioners can identify a child’s or young person’s needs early,assess those needs holistically, deliver coordinated services and review progress. The CAF is designated to be used when:
The process is entirely voluntary and informed consent 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.
The CAF process is not a ‘referral’ process but a ‘request for services’.
The CAF should be offered to children who have additional needs to those being met by universal services.
Unless a child is presenting a need, it is unlikely that support under the CAF will be offered. The practitioner assesses needs using the common assessment. The common assessment is not a risk assessment. If a child or young person reveals they are at risk, the practitioner should follow the local safeguarding process immediately.
For more information, speak to school or contact:
0845 140 0845
Where to go
53 Cambridge Road
The CAF should be used when:
It is not necessary to complete a CAF on every child. You would not, for example, undertake a CAF if:
All practitioners working across Sefton’s children’s workforce should be aware of situations when a CAF should be used. They should be able to complete a CAF as a way of working alongside children and families to gather information, identify needs and strengths, plan support and review change
The purpose of the Early help around the family meeting is to:
Factors considered when appointing a Lead Practitioner are:
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