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Published byCassandra Calland Modified over 8 years ago
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 designed to be used when; a practitioner is worried about how well a child or young person is progressing (e.g. concerns about their health, development, welfare, behaviour, progress in learning or any other aspect of their wellbeing) a child or young person, or their parent/carer, raises a concern with a practitioner a child's or young person's needs are unclear, or broader than the practitioner's service can address.
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 the CAF will be offered. The practitioner assesses needs using the CAF. The CAF is not a risk assessment.
Content of the CAF Process for undertaking a common assessment Pre-assessment checklist Standard form Parents & carers Basic care, ensuring safety & protection Emotional warmth & stability Guidance, boundaries & stimulation Development of Child Health Emotional & social development Behavioural development Identity, including self-esteem, self-image & social presentation Family & social relationships Self-care skills & independence Learning Family & Environmental Family history, functioning & well- being Wider family Housing, financial & employment considerations Social & community elements & resources, including education Domains & elements
When to undertake a common assessment Undertake a common assessment when it will help the child/young person to achieve one or more of the ECM five priority outcomes. Likely to be of help when: Age appropriate progress is not being made and causes are unclear The support of more than one agency is needed Need not be done when: Progress is satisfactory Needs are already identified and are being met Needs are clear and can be met by family/assessing agency
The 4 key steps of the CAF process
Early Support Programme The Early Support Programme is for parents and carers of disabled children and young people from birth to adulthood. This includes coordinating support for: health education social care
Early Support's resources help to bring service providers together with parent carers, children and young people on the basis of shared information. They ensure parent carers, children and young people remain at the centre of a holistic and integrated support process. One valuable resource is the Early Support Family File
Visit the Early Support website for further information and to download all the resources needed to complete your own Family File. http://www.ncb.org.uk/early-support/for-families
Where to find your local Children’s Centre To find your nearest SureStart Children’s Centre visit the following website: https://www.gov.uk/find-sure-start-childrens-centre
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