Information for families

CAF is a way of everyone working together with families, which puts your needs at the heart of decisions made about you and your children

In Suffolk, we want to make sure that services working with children and their families understand and are able to respond to children’s needs. To help us to do this, we use the Common Assessment Framework, often called the CAF.

The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) will help services gather and share information so they can make decisions with you about the types of support you and your children need. A teacher, a health worker, or anyone else who provides your family with information and support can go through the CAF process with you.

CAF key points

  • If your child needs extra support, the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) will help your child receive the right support at an early stage.
  • As the CAF is a shared assessment, you and your child will not have to repeat the same details to different workers.
  • The CAF is not a ‘referral’ process, but a request for services.
  • The CAF is voluntary – you and your child, or a young person can choose to be involved. You can also choose which service providers you want your information to be shared with.
  • A CAF cannot guarantee that a service can be provided but it will provide evidence of a need to access a service and it will also help to provide evidence of any gap in provision of services.

What support will my family receive?

If a number of people are providing support for your child, they might meet together with you as a ‘Team Around the Child’ (TAC) and one of these people may be appointed as a ‘lead professional’. They'll be the main contact and coordinate the different services you are involved with.

How can I access a CAF?

If you need to discuss CAF in relation to your child you should first of all discuss this with the staff in the children's centre or school that your child attends, or perhaps with your GP or Health Visitor. Alternatively, if you are not sure about who best to speak to, please contact the CAF Administrator at the email address below, and they will put you in touch with someone local to you.

Further information about CAF

You can find out more about the Common Assessment Framework by looking at the other pages on this website or by visiting the Department of Education website.

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