Early intervention to improve well-being of children using the Common Assessment Framework
Produced in partnership with Jason Hadden of St Ives Chambers
Early intervention to improve well-being of children using the Common Assessment Framework

The following Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Jason Hadden of St Ives Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Early intervention to improve well-being of children using the Common Assessment Framework
  • What is a Common Assessment Framework (CAF) and when is it used?
  • How does it work in practice?
  • What happens if consent is not forthcoming?
  • When should a CAF be considered?
  • What are the challenges faced when trying to implement a CAF?
  • How is a CAF funded?
  • Which professionals can be involved?
  • Are there any limitations to the services provided?
  • How is the effectiveness of a CAF monitored?
  • More...

What is a Common Assessment Framework (CAF) and when is it used?

A Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is a shared assessment and planning framework for use across all children’s services and all local areas in England.

The aims and objectives of the CAF are to:

  1. help practitioners working with children, young people and families to assess children and young people’s additional needs

  2. provide earlier and more effective services to prevent (if possible) more formal intervention

  3. develop a common understanding of those needs and how to work together to meet them

The assessment covers three areas:

  1. development of the child or young person

  2. parents and carers

  3. family and environment

The CAF can be offered by any professional in the children and young people’s workforce, eg early years, education, health, social, youth services, family and community support.

There is a national standard CAF form.

A lead professional (LP) is responsible for coordinating the actions identified in the common assessment process and is a single point of contact for children or young people with additional needs. The LP can be any practitioner from the statutory, voluntary or private sector.

How does it work in practice?

Directors of Children’s Services are expected to take the lead in agreeing with their partner agencies how to operate the CAF, introduce an LP model of working and introduce information sharing arrangements. Professionals can ascertain local practices through their

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