Common Assessment Framework (CAF)
Updated documents and publications, now available:
Common Assessment Framework (CAF) guides for managers and practitioners
Lead professional guidance for managers and practitioners
The CAF is a key part of delivering frontline services that are integrated, and are focused around the needs of children and young people. The CAF is a standardised approach to conducting assessments of children's additional needs and deciding how these should be met. It can be used by practitioners across children's services in England.
The CAF promotes more effective, earlier identification of additional needs, particularly in universal services. It aims to provide a simple process for a holistic assessment of children's needs and strengths; taking account of the roles of parents, carers and environmental factors on their development. Practitioners are then better placed to agree with children and families about appropriate modes of support. The CAF also aims to improve integrated working by promoting coordinated service provisions.
12 local areas conducted formal trials of the CAF and the role of the lead professional, throughout 2005 and 2006. Trials were evaluated by the University of East Anglia (UEA). Over two-thirds of LAs chose to use the CAF during the trial year and materials were issued in April 2005 to support implementation. An evaluation report will be made available on the DCSF research website in the near future.
Alongside the UEA evaluation, work was carried out with trial groups to identify early lessons; enabling them to share good practice and to inform further development of CAF materials. Following wide consultation, revised CAF materials have been issued; including practitioners' and managers' guides, CAF forms, pre-assessment checklists and supporting tools.
All LA areas were expected to implement the CAF, along with the lead professional role and information sharing, between April 2006 and March 2008.
Common Assessment Framework: Practitioners' and managers' guides (July 2009)
Common Assessment Framework forms
This includes the CAF form in Word & PDF format; the pre-assessment checklist and the guide to definitions.
Polish, Lithuanian and Portuguese versions of CAF form (November 2008)
Common Assessment Framework: Frequently Asked Questions (September 2007)
Leaflets for children, young people, parents and carers about CAF and the lead professional (November 2006)
Common Assessment Framework for children and young people: Supporting tools (April 2006)
Integrated Children's System, the Common Assessment Framework and ContactPoint - an overview
A short essay on harnessing information for ECM.
Integrated Working Factsheets - including factsheets on CAF (including CAF and schools - September 2008) and lead professional.
Better information sharing in practice
Case studies showing how the CAF, combined with the function of the lead professional and multi-agency working, contributes to better information sharing.
A range of professionals and agencies were consulted during an intensive period of consultation in early 2005, in order to develop and refine training materials to support the implementation of the CAF. The materials were piloted during summer 2005. Revised materials have now been produced and are available as part of integrated working training.
Click to go to the Integrated working training page where you can see how training materials fit together, or download the CAF training materials below.
CAF training materials
Introduction to assessment to support Common Assessment Framework training - handbook to support practitioners (April 2006)
Introduction to the Common Assessment Framework training materials (April 2006)
Using the Common Assessment Framework in practice (April 2006)
CAF training for trainers
Common Assessment Framework training for trainers (May 2006)
Download the contents of this page: as a Word Document
Last updated on 21/12/2009