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Children's Services

CAF - information

What is the Common Assessment Framework (CAF)?

A simple pre-assessment checklist to help practitioners decide who would benefit from a common assessment.

When should a common assessment be carried out?

A common assessment can be done at any time - on unborn babies, new babies, children or young people. It is designed for use when:

The decision about whether to do an assessment should be made jointly with the child and/or parent. Children should always be encouraged to discuss the assessment with their parents. If the child is old enough and competent to understand, they may make their own decision.

What are the benefits of A CAF?

Potential benefits include:

Who will carry out the CAF assessment?

The majority of CAFs will be undertaken or arranged by practitioners in universal services such as early years settings (for example children’s centres), schools and health settings. These services are best equipped to identify possible needs in their early stages.

Should a CAF be completed if there are Child Protection concerns?

NO, always follow the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures immediately. If in doubt, consult your local Social Care Reception and Assessment team.

What is the CAF’s relationship with specialist assessments?

CAF links with other assessments such as universal checks and targeted assessments (for children in need; those with special educational needs etc.) will remain in place. However, the CAF may be appropriate to be used before, or in conjunction with a specialist assessment.

Will CAF training be mandatory?

Hampshire has put in place arrangements to ensure practitioners undertaking common assessments are suitably skilled and trained in order to complete assessments that are fit for purpose. In order to undertake an effective CAF, practitioners will need to have the skills and knowledge covered by the Common Core of Skills and Knowledge for the Children’s Workforce before undertaking assessments.

If you have any questions about the CAF process and documentation, please contact your nearest Locality Team.


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