The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) - a guide
What is the Common Assessment Framework (CAF)?
The Government has said that all agencies that work with families have a responsibility to work closely together with you to make sure every child and young person has the best possible chance to reach their full potential.
A Common Assessment is a way of gathering information about children and families and having this information in one place. This information will be used to decide what kind of support is needed to help a family. If you give your consent, people from different agencies will talk to each other and share information and work together with you to help support you and your child.
A Common Assessment is voluntary and can only take place with your agreement. If you agree to a Common Assessment taking place people who are supporting your family can gather and share information and agree how best to support you. This will help the people who are supporting you to write an action plan, the plan will say what will be done, who will do it and when it will be done. The people working with you and your family will always try and involve you.
You will be given a copy of your Common Assessment to keep and the person who completes the form will also keep a copy. Your Common Assessment will only be shared with those people who need one and this will be agreed with you when you agree to Common Assessment.
There are many services that can be included in your action plan and it will depend on your family’s particular needs. Try and think about what would be helpful to you and your family. Some services that people have found useful have been
- Referral to parenting courses
- Nursery sessions for your children
- Adult education classes
If there are three or more different agencies working with your family a Lead Practitioner will be agreed with you. A Lead Practitioner can be anyone who works with your family or child and they can help you to find the right help. The Lead Practitioner will make sure organisations work together to help you.
A Common Assessment should offer support to you and your family soon after additional needs are identified. It is hoped that offering additional services to families as soon as possible a referral to Social Services will not be needed. Sometimes you might need more support than can be offered with a Common Assessment and a referral to Children’s Social Care will be needed. If this needs to happen it will be discussed with you so you know what is happening.