Common Assessment Framework

Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is a way of working that ensures children, young people and families get the help and support they need more easily and quickly by bringing together the different services that can give that help to meet up and start working together.

The CAF is offered to children, young people and families who have additional needs that cannot be met by a single service. For example, children/young people within a family may have health or developmental issues, the family may also be struggling with housing or benefits claims, there may be violence in the home etc.

CAF offers families an opportunity to meet face-to-face with people from different services, discuss their problems and concerns and agree what help they will get and  by when.

How it works

A worker who is in touch with the child/young person and their family will initiate the CAF using a CAF form. They will ask some basic information such as names, addresses, ages of children etc. The child/young person and their parents/carers are then invited to a Team Around the Child meeting (TAC) to discuss any problems or concerns with people from the services that can offer help and support.

During the meeting, a single assessment will be made covering all the child/young person’s needs, for example:

  • looking at how the child/young person is developing
  • how they feel emotionally
  • whether they have any health concerns
  • what their home situation is

Looking at everything that affects the child/young person in a single assessment means the family doesn’t have to worry about making lots of appointments with different people and services.

At the TAC meeting a ‘lead professional’ is chosen (this is the person that gives support and guidance to the family throughout the CAF process and acts as their contact). An action plan is worked out and agreed so that all the help that is needed can be accessed as soon as possible and by agreed deadlines.

The action plan is then reviewed regularly to ensure everyone is doing what they have agreed to do and to ensure that the actions taken so far, have had a positive result and then to decide what more can be done to get the best long-term result for that family.

More information is provided in our CAF information leaflet or by calling the Family Information Service on (020) 8825 5588.