PLEASE NOTE: The Children’s Workforce Development Council closed on 31 March 2012. Its key work and publications have transferred to either the Teaching Agency (for Early Years, Educational Psychology and Standards and Qualifications) or the Department for Education (Sector Leadership and Social Work).

This updated guidance is aimed at strategic and operational managers across all children's services who have responsibility for implementing the Common Assessment Framework (CAF).

The CAF is a generic assessment for children with additional needs, which can be used by practitioners across all children's services in all local areas in England. It aims to help early identification of need, promote coordinated service provision and reduce the number of assessments that some children and young people go through.

The CAF is part of a set of materials for practitioners covering three inter-linked elements of the Every Child Matters: Change for Children programme.


  • Background and policy context
  • Introduction to the Common Assessment Framework
  • The CAF process
  • Implementing the CAF
  • Annexes