Yes the previous requirement to use a nationally agreed template has been removed and many local authorities now have their own locally designed version of CAF. The Family CAF form is designed to meet the requirements of any early help assessment, as set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013 (DfE), namely:
‘The early help assessment carried out for an individual child and their family should be clear about the action to be taken and services to be provided (including any relevant timescales for the assessment) and aim to ensure that early help services are coordinated and not delivered in a piecemeal way.
In The Munro Review of Child Protection 2011 Eileen Munro described early help as “referring both to help in the early years of a child or young person’s life and early in the emergence of a problem at any stage in their lives”
Early help refers to families receiving help when needs are identified and not necessarily ‘intervention’ when a ‘problem’ arises. While several types of early help assessment are in use within Bradford District, they all share the common aim of identifying what help the child and family require to prevent needs escalating to a point where intervention is needed via a statutory assessment.
Bradford District has the Early Help Strategy (PDF, 626kb)
Both parents and professionals may sometimes benefit from assistance in identifying organisations who can provide early help. Bradford Council’s Families Information Service can help parents, carers and professionals working on their behalf to connect with early help services. You can visit the FIS website.
Anyone working in situations where it is necessary to coordinate service provision between agencies in order to help a family effectively.
You can find the Family CAF assessment form, templates for action plans and reviews, including other helpful information on the Common Assessment Framework page.
No. However it is sometimes useful to have a discussion regarding whether a family would benefit from early help provided by a single agency or whether a Family CAF is needed. Contact the Families Information Service to discuss further.
No. The assessment form can be completed either electronically or on paper.
Face to face training and e-learning are available through the Council’s Workforce Development Unit
This is recommended, however if you need to initiate a Family CAF and have not yet undertaken any CAF training, pleasecontact the Families Information Service for assistance.
Parental Support and Engagement Coordinators can provide assistance to professionals with completing the assessment itself and also with forming a team around the family to agree an action plan. To access this support contact the Families Information Service.
No, the original form is sufficient.
The Family CAF should be initiated by who ever identifies any potential additional needs. This will require you to be the assessor for the purposes of completing the assessment form but does not commit you to being the lead professional.
Any adults whose needs are referred to on the form should be asked for their signature in the boxes on the final page. The signature is proof that the adult(s) agree to the information being stored, shared and used for the purpose of providing services to them as an adult. It is useful to point this out to a family before completing the form, as without this adult consent, information about that adult’s needs cannot be added to the form.
Only information that the family consents to being included in the Family CAF can be recorded. However, if concerns are of a significant nature, then a worker can and should share this information with or without consent if in the best interests of the child/young person/vulnerable adult.
If concerns are of a significant nature, then a worker can and should share this information with or without consent. This should be explained to the family.
If you have other questions you need to discuss please contact the Families Information Service who will put you through to a Parental Support & Engagement Coordinator.