The pre-CAF form can be used by practitioners to help them decide whether a full-needs assessment is necessary. It should be used when a
From this first assessment, a decision can be made by the practitioner as to what is then required. It is a professional decision made by the practitioner, for example, whether or not to refer straight to safeguarding or a specialist assessment or whether to action a holistic assessment (the CAF).
Some local areas use the pre-CAF as a referral document to achieve a specialist assessment, while others ignore the pre-CAF.
An understanding by all practitioners of how the system of different assessment processes is actioned locally is necessary in understanding how the CAF process can be used to the best advantage of the child or young person.
If a practitioner decides a full assessment of needs is required, the first step is to agree consent with the child, young person and family.
Once consent is achieved, the CAF form is used to structure conversations about the child, his/her family and environment.
The CAF form covers the following areas of need:
For the unborn, infant child or young person
Parents and carers
Family and environment
The practitioner then moves on to recording conclusions. This should lead to decisions, with the consent of child/parent, about which other services to contact, share information and set up a team around the child (TAC) with.
A lead professional is agreed between the TAC and child/family.
The TAC then agrees, with the child/family, solutions and an action plan outlining who will do what and when, and review dates.
Some local areas have an electronic version of the CAF form. However, a national electronic-enabled version of the CAF form is being developed.
Note: National eCAF is the electronically enabled version of the CAF form and process.
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Non-statutory guidance published by CWDC for managers, to reflect policy developments impacting integrated working.
Non-statutory guidance for practitioners published by CWDC to reflect policy developments impacting the framework.