CAF - Frequently Asked Questions

Has the Family CAF form replaced the CAF form previously in use in Bradford District?

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.

What is early help?

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.

Who will use the Family CAF?

Anyone working in situations where it is necessary to coordinate service provision between agencies in order to help a family effectively.

Where do I find the correct forms?

You can find the Family CAF assessment form, templates for action plans and reviews, including other helpful information on the Common Assessment Framework page.

Will there be a Pre-Family CAF checklist to complete?

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.

Does a Family CAF have to be completed electronically?

No. The assessment form can be completed either electronically or on paper.

What training is available for Family CAF?

Face to face training and e-learning are available through the Council’s Workforce Development Unit

Do I need to undertake the training before completing a Family CAF?

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.

Who can support me to complete a Family CAF?

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.

Do I need to complete a Family CAF for CAFs which have been registered using the previous form?

No, the original form is sufficient.

Whose responsibility is it to initiate the Family CAF if children are known to several organisations, for example there is one child in nursery and three in primary school in the same family.

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.

What do I do if an adult family member specifies that they do not want information about them shared on the Family CAF form?

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.

What do I do if a family member shares something verbally but does not want it to be included in the assessment?

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.

What do I do if I cannot obtain signed consent to the assessment but I have serious concerns about the welfare of individuals within the family?

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.

Other questions

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.

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Contact details

CAF Helpdesk
Families First CAF Helpdesk
Farcliffe and Lilycroft Family & Children Family Centre
Toller Lane

Phone : 01274 437333
Email :

Always send confidential post by Recorded Delivery

The CAF Helpdesk is open:
Monday to Tuesday, 1.30pm to 5pm
Wednesday to Thursday, 12.45pm to 5pm
Friday, 1pm to 4.30pm

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Council Switchboard : 01274 432111

Council Address : Britannia House, Hall Ings, Bradford BD1 1HX

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