Family Common Assessment Framework

What is the Family Common Assessment Framework?

The Family Common Assessment Framework (Family CAF) is an assessment that any person working with a family can complete if they feel that the child(ren) and family require services from multiple organisations (multi agency). The common assessment form is simply a way of recording the discussion that a practitioner has with a child/parent.

It does not have to be highly formal or presented as a ‘big event’.


Key points to remember about the discussion:

  • Practitioners should complete the common assessment together with the child/parent to find solutions as early as possible
  • The discussion must be child centred

Practitioners should consider the child and family's strengths as well as needs and these should be recorded. Focus should to be around the impact on the child/family, what needs to improve to ensure the child(ren) meet their outcomes. It aims to provide a simple process for a full assessment of children and families' needs and strengths; taking account of the roles of parents, carers and environmental factors on their development. Practitioners are then better placed to agree with children and families about appropriate modes of support.

If the child/parent doesn’t want to participate, the practitioner cannot proceed – However if this increases the practitioner's worries they need to discuss with their manager and the locality social worker, have a professionals meeting or consult with/refer to Social Care

The Family CAF helps families get support early. The Team Around the Family (TAF) is the meeting that takes place following the completion of the Family CAF, and this meeting includes the family and aims to plan services.

A CAF can only be completed following a referral in the Gateway.


Who can refer a family into Targeted Preventative Services?

All agencies can refer a family into Targeted Preventative Services via the Gateway using the referral form. The same referral can be used to access single services and request a CAF to be completed. If the family do require a CAF the referral will go to Targeted Preventative Services who hold multi-agency allocation meetings in four localities and it is here that a Lead Professional will be identified to complete the Family CAF.

The Localities are:

  • Birkenhead Locality
  • Wallasey Locality
  • South and West Localities who will have a joint allocation meeting.


What will happen after a family has been referred?

Once a Family CAF has been completed a support plan is developed and implemented by the Team around the Family (TAF).

The TAF brings together a range of different practitioners from across the children and young people’s workforce to support an individual child or young person and their family. The members of the TAF develop and deliver a package of solution-focused support to meet the needs identified through the Family CAF.

The Team Around the Family model places the child at the centre of all activity and requires family members to be fully involved in the process.


Process recap

1. Identify a child and/or family who require support from multiple agencies

2. Complete a referral into Targeted Services

3. Referral will go to the weekly allocations meeting if a CAF is thought to be necessary. The person who completed the referral may or may not be asked to complete the CAF

4. The CAF and supportive tools are e mailed to the worker identified as lead professional

5. The CAF is completed with the child/family by the lead professional

6. The lead professional organises the first Team Around the Family meeting inviting the agencies identified within the CAF in order to support the child and/or family.


Useful information