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Child & Family Assessment (CAF) Early Help and Support

The Child & Family Assessment [CAF] is a four-step process whereby practitioners can;

•identify a child’s or young persons needs early

•assess those needs holistically

•deliver co-ordinated services

•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 - if they do, they can choose what information they want to share. Children and families should not feel stigmatised by the CAF; they can ask for a CAF to be initiated.

    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.

    If a child or young person reveals they are at risk, the practitioner should follow the local safeguarding process immediately.

      The Team

             Zoe Fitzpatrick -Early Help Team Leader 

             Laura McKelvey -Early Help Team Leader

             Shelly Carter -   CAF Link Worker

             Sonya Rustidge -CAF Link Worker




   Lead Professionals Network Meetings

  • To support all Lead Professionals in their role and offer advice and guidance,

  • To provide high support and high challenge to Lead Professionals

  • To promote a common understanding of what a good CAF looks like

  • To drive and improve the quality of CAF assessments, TAF plans and meetings.

  • To prevent escalation to Children’s Social Care for Children and Young People who are not at risk of significant harm and ensure a robust offer of Early Help is offered and provided

  • Promote Early Help services at a local level

  • Support and improve lead professional’s knowledge and skill.

  • Ensure better outcomes for children achieved in a shorter timescale

  • Ensure effective integrated working with partners.




          BwD Council website to register a CAF,or check if a CAF exists