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Common Assessment Framework
The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) for Parents, Carers and Young People
What is the Common Assessment Framework?
The Common Assessment Framework (or CAF) is a way of working out what is working well in your child's life and what extra support they may need, by listening to you and your child. It aims to get the right support for your child at the right time.
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.
The CAF is voluntary - you and your child can choose to be involved. If your child is old enough (16 years or over) they can agree to a Common Assessment themselves.
How will the CAF help my family?
The CAF exists to help you support your child. When your child needs extra support, we want to find the best way forward as soon as possible, before their needs increase. The CAF will ensure that everyone involved with your child - such as teachers and health visitors - work together to support your child. An action plan, agreed with you and your child, is put in place. The plan will say what will be done, who will do it and by when. It can lead to a quick solution or help to identify extra support if needed. As the CAF is a shared assessment, you and your child will not have to repeat the same story to different workers.
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 and support your child might need. If you are happy for them to do so, they might also ask other professionals that you are working with for additional information. 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.
Based on the information you and your child provide, all those who can help your child will work together to provide the support your child needs. Your child's information will only be shared between workers who are supporting your child.
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.
What is a Lead Professional?
If a number of people are providing support to your child, one of these people may be appointed as a 'lead professional'. They will co-ordinate the services supporting your child, as well as keep you informed, and support you. You and your child will have a say in who should be the lead professional.
As a rule, the information which you and your child provide will only be shared with your family's consent. However, there may be times when the people working with you need to share information. For example:
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.
Where can I get more information?
If you have any questions regarding the Common Assessment Framework or feel that your child may need some additional support, please contact the First Contact and Support Hub on 01429 284284, for advice.
Telephone: 01429 266522