Child and Family (CAF) assessment

Service information

What is CAF?

CAF (Child and Family) is a four-step process whereby practitioners can identify a child's or young person's needs early, assess those needs holistically, deliver coordinated services and review progress.

The CAF is designed to be used when:

  • a practitioner is worried about how well a child or young person is progressing e.g. concerns about their health, development, welfare, behaviour, progress in learning or any other aspect of their wellbeing.
  • a child or young person, or their parent/carer, raises a concern with a practitioner
  • a child's or young person's needs are unclear, or broader than the practitioner's service can address.

The process is entirely voluntary and informed consent is mandatory, so families do not have to engage and if they do they can choose what information they want to share. Children and families should not feel stigmatised by the CAF; indeed they can ask for a CAF to be initiated.

The CAF should be offered to children who have additional needs to those being met by universal services. Unless a child is presenting a need, it is unlikely the CAF will be offered. The practitioner assesses needs using the CAF. The CAF is not a risk assessment.

If a child or young person reveals they are at risk, the practitioner should follow the local safeguarding process immediately.

Pre Child and Family Assessment Checklist

This tool enables you to assess whether a CAF is required for a child(ren)/young person. This form does not need to be shared with the CAF team.

Child and Family Assessment (CAF) consent form

This document should only be used when an ‘own agency’ consent form is not available.

Written consent must be obtained from the parent(s), carer(s) or young person by the practitioner who is instigating the CAF at the beginning of the CAF process.  At this point the family are consenting to the whole CAF process and by doing so will not be asked to provide written consent at any other point in this CAF episode.  Consent should be obtained before you register the CAF. You do not need to share this form with the CAF team but you will be asked on the CAF registration form to confirm you have written consent from the family. 

Fair Processing

The Fair Processing document outlines the way in which we hold and share families’ personal data. This document can be used alongside the CAF consent form/or own agency form; when discussing data sharing and storage.

Blackburn with Darwen Child and Family Assessment (CAF) form

The ‘Child And Family’ assessment is a tool which enables you to capture unmet needs and identify risk factors. You can complete one form for a family (including parents) rather than having to complete one form per child. You need to ensure that each child's needs are considered and they need to remain the focus of the assessment.  The timescales for completing an assessment is 28 days. This should be a process of gathering information from the range of professionals involved with the family and not just self-reporting information by parents.  This will need to be completed electronically and emailed securely to the CAF admin team.

Blackburn with Darwen Team Around the Family (TAF) Plan

A ‘Team Around the Family’ plan is completed after the CAF assessment.  You will meet with the family and other practitioners on a *regular basis and review/record progress.  Please ensure that you share the information in this TAF plan with the child (ren)/young person/parent(s) and/or carer(s).  Any discrepancies in opinion should be clearly recorded on the plan.  The plan should be shared with other professionals involved in the CAF.  Consent for the entire CAF process (including regular TAF meetings) was obtained at the beginning of this CAF episode and confirmed by the person instigating the CAF. (*this is outlined in the QA guide)

Multi Agency TAF Reporting Template

This is to support TAF members to contribute to the TAF review. An electronic copy of the TAF report should be sent to the lead professional for them to add to the minutes of the TAF; reducing the amount of recording needed during the meeting and ensuring that key information is captured.

CAF Closure and Evaluation Form

This document should be completed at the point of a CAF case closure.  An evaluation should be done with the family, this information is key for our development in understanding the views, wishes and feelings of our families, and in turn this will influence the CAF process moving forward.

Quality assurance guide

This document offers an insight into expectations in relation to good practice within CAF. When cases are authorised/audited the team completing these tasks follows the good practice guide to ensure consistency.  This is a helpful tool for you (your staff).

CAF - Guide for parents of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)​​

A CAF is a tool that helps services to identify what support you and your children may need and it helps to make sure that this support is offered as early as possible and in a co-ordinated way.

We use this tool for children and families who access a range of service including the Portage the Early Years SEND support service.​​​

Ways in which children and young people can experience neglect

Experiences of neglect by age group; please note that the examples listed are intended to give an overview of what children may experience rather than provide an exhaustive list of ways in which neglect may present.​​

Contact details

Mail Ground Floor, 10 Duke Street, Blackburn, BB2 1DH
Phone Number(s) 01254 666913/666914
Fax Number(s)  
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