The Common Assessment (CAF) is a national requirement for all agencies involved in providing services for children and families
Welcome to Bury's Common Assessment Framework Web Pages
What is the Common Assessment Framework (CAF)?
It is a group of common processes and tools that work together as part of an integrated system. It is designed to support practitioners and help services deliver better outcomes for children and young people. The Framework is made up of:
The CAF form (a national standard tool to determine if a child has additional/unmet needs)
Team around the Child (TAC) meetings
A Lead Person (LP)
Information sharing and consent
A directory of services (e.g. Find it 4Me web pages)
CAF central records (a central database where all registered CAF forms are stored).
When to start the CAF form
The CAF form can be started when you believe a child may not progress towards the five Every Child Matters outcomes without the support of additional services. It is important that these children are identified early in order to help them before things reach crisis point. The CAF form is an important tool for early identification of additional needs and is designed for use when:
You are concerned about how well a child is progressing
You are concerned about their health, welfare, behaviour, progress in learning or if the child or their parent has raised a concern with you
The needs are unclear, or broader than your service can address
A CAF form would help identify the needs, and appropriate services to meet them.
You cannot complete a CAF form unless the child and/or their parent agree.
The CAF form is entirely voluntary. If a CAF form is refused you can contact the CAF Team to speak with an Early Intervention Consultant about this or any other matter relating to the CAF.
What to do prior to completing a CAF form
Before you complete a CAF form, you should check who else is working with the child or young person. You should also check if a CAF form already exists. You can do this by asking the young person or parent if a CAF form has previously been completed or obtain their consent to contact the CAF Team by telephone. The number can be found in the contact us section on this page, or by sending an email to the CAF Team, using the link in the Offsite links and online forms section on the right of this page. We will then inform you if a previous CAF form has been completed for the child or young person.
If a CAF form has previously been completed, then the CAF Team will provide you with the contact details of the Lead Person so that you can contribute to the ongoing support offered to the child or young person. If we do not have an existing CAF form in place, you will be asked to provide some basic details about yourself and the child or young person for monitoring and tracking purposes to ensure that, once completed, the CAF form is registered.
The Lead Person (LP)
The Lead Person is not automatically the person who completed the CAF form, although the author can assume this role and arrange the first TAC meeting; it is during this meeting that the most suitable person to take on this role will be agreed. The Lead Person is, essentially, a single point of contact for the child or young person with additional needs.
Team Around the Child (TAC)
TAC is a model of multi-agencies working together inclusive of parents/carers for the purpose of providing joined up services to improve outcomes for children below the social care threshold. Each practitioner who makes up the TAC is responsible/accountable to their home agency for the services they deliver. Members of the TAC are jointly responsible for developing and delivering the actions to meet the needs of the child or young person. TAC members should support the lead person by offering advice and guidance and keeping the lead person informed by providing information and reports promptly when requested and to be available to attend meetings.
What to do with a completed CAF form
The original CAF form should remain with your service. Please give a copy to the family and to any practitioners that the family have consented to.
The completed CAF form should be sent via email to the CAF Team (using the link on the right of this page); if the CAF form can not be sent via email then it can be sent by fax to 0161 253 6011.
It is important that our CAF records are kept up to date. Please inform the CAF Team of the following information:
The dates of the TAC meetings
If there is a new Lead Person
If the actions are complex and you require advice
When the CAF is closed.
Want to know more?
The CAF Self Help Pack contains lots of useful information about the CAF process. We are always happy to talk through any questions you may have and recognise no question is a silly question but rather a part of learning and clarification. The CAF Team can be contacted by email using the link on the right or by using the telephone number in the 'contact us' section at the top of the page.