Common Assessment Framework (CAF)
What is the Common Assessment Framework (CAF)?
The Common Assessment Framework is a new way of working with children and young people. It involves listening to you and your child to find out what is working well in your child’s life and what extra help you or they might need if things aren’t going so well.
An action plan, agreed with you and your child, is also put in place to make sure your child and your family get the right help.
The CAF is entirely voluntary – it is up to you and your child to choose whether you want to be involved.
How will the CAF help my family?
The CAF exists to help support you and your child. It can lead to a quick solution or help to identify extra support if needed.
The CAF will ensure that everyone is involved with your child – such as teachers and health visitors – works together to support them.
The CAF will help your child receive the right support at an early stage before their needs increase. As the CAF is a shared assessment, you and your child will not have to repeat the same story to different workers.
When is the CAF used?
The CAF can be used if you or someone who works with your child would like your child to receive extra support. It will help to identify your child’s additional needs, and other workers required to support your family.
How does it work?
If you and your child agree, a worker will ask you and your child some questions to find out what help might be needed. This information is recorded on a simple form. You and your child will agree what is put on the form, and you will be given a copy of it.
Older children may feel able to discuss their situation on their own with the worker. A young person’s wish to keep information confidential from parents may be respected by the worker, where this is in the young person’s best interests and welfare.
As a rule the information which you and your child provide will only be shared with your family’s consent.
However there may be certain times when the people working with you need to share information.
- when they need to find out urgently if a child is at risk of harm;
- to help a child who is at risk of harm;
- when an adult is at risk of harm; or
- to help prevent or detect a serious crime.
What happens next?
Based on the information you and your child provide, all those who can help will work together to provide the support your child needs. Information about your child will only be shared with workers who need to know this information and this will be discussed and agreed with you and your child.
Who is a lead professional?
If a number of people are providing support to your child, one of these people may be appointed as ‘lead professional’. This person will keep you informed, listen to your views and support you. The named worker will also co-ordinate all the services supporting your child. You and your child will have a say in who should be the lead professional.