CAF - information for parents and carers
The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is a way of working with children and young people. It involves listening to you and your child to find out your child’s needs, and what is working well in your child’s life.
An action plan, agreed with you and your child, is also put in place to make sure your child gets the right sort of help.
The CAF is voluntary – you and your child can choose to be involved.
How will the CAF help my family?
The CAF exists to help you support your child.
It can lead to a quick solution or help to identify extra support if needed.
The CAF will ensure that everyone involved with your child – such as teachers and health visitors – works together to support your child. 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 and support your child might need. 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.
What happens next?
Based on the information you and your child provide, the worker can begin to complete an action plan with you and all those who can help your child. This may take place straight away, or the worker may need to make some enquiries and contact you again. If there are needs which may be met by a number of different services then a ‘Team Around the Child’ will be formed. Normally only those who need to know about your child will share the information.
What is a Team Around the Child?
A Team Around the Child is a group of people who are providing support to your child and who will work together to ensure all the needs are met in a co-ordinated manner.
Who 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’.
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.
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. 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.
For more information please contact the SPA
Phone: 020 8891 7969