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
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.
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