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Common assessment framework (CAF)

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Common Assessment Framework (CAF)

  • The CAF is a tool to enables early and effective assessment of children and young people who need additional support from more than one agency. It is a holistic consent-based needs assessment framework which records, in a single place and in a structured and consistent way, every aspect of a child's life, family and environment

Completing an assessment using the Common Assessment Framework (CAF)

  • wherever possible additional needs should be identified early to prevent problems developing and so that support can be provided as early as possible
  • any professional who considers that a child or young person has some additional needs which cannot be fully met within their own agency, and the child is not a 'Child in Need' under the Children Act 1989, should carry out a Common Assessment Framework (CAF) with the family. A fundamental principle of the CAF is that it belongs to the family and is carried out with their full consent, including consent to share information. A CAF aims to identify the needs and circumstances of the child or young person and the outcome required. Completed CAFs will then be considered and the actions agreed in the local multi-agency panel


  • Bristol CCG Safeguarding Children Policy (Accessed 12/3/2014).
  • Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust. Child Safeguarding Policy (Accessed 12/3/2014).
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (2010)

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