Common Assessment Framework (CAF) forms

Find out how to complete a CAF form, where to send a completed form in Suffolk and check if an existing CAF is open.

The CAF aims to provide a simple process for a broad assessment of children's needs and strengths; taking account of the roles of parents/carers and environmental factors on their development. This means that practitioners are then better placed to agree with children and families about appropriate ways to offer support.

Suffolk County Council children and young people's services have adopted an evidence-based approach to working with children/young people and families called signs of safety and well-being. The common assessment framework has been revised to take this new model into account. Key changes to the CAF include:

  • Creation of a genogram or family network.
  • An opportunity to help you identify and assess the family’s strengths and build on these to address identified needs.
  • Simplified data collection page for those cases where following completion of the assessment, the support identified requires a referral to Suffolk County Council Early Help Service.

CAF form

Download the Common Assessment Form (Word, 227KB).

Is there any existing CAF?

Check with CAF Triage to see if there's an existing CAF before you complete this form.

Our preferred method is by email, using appropriate encryption to more information about using secure emails.

For more information, please contact CAF Triage directly on 01473 263210.

If you would like to discuss whether the situation you are concerned about should be the subject of a safeguarding referral, please contact the MASH Consultation line on 0345 6061499.

Find the referral process, the multi-agency referral form and further guidance on the Safeguarding Board website

CAF delivery plans

The same template is used for the first Family Network Meeting and any review Family Network Meetings.

If using the electronic version of the template, a copy of the previous meeting’s plan should be used as the starting point. This means the mapping, scaling and actions can be built upon and updated, rather than having to start over or repeat the previous meeting’s work.

A copy of the previous plan, including the mapping, should always be brought to any review meetings. The aim of all review meetings is to allow everyone involved with the plan the opportunity to review and update progress. The scale should be used as a tool to measure change and the actions reviewed/updated as required.

 For help creating the delivery plans download family network meetings and delivery plans guidance (Word, 783KB).




Reopen a closed CAF

To reopen a CAF in Suffolk that has previously closed:

Read request to reopen flowchart (Word, 176KB) first as this will guide you on the route you need to take.

If (after using the flowchart) you do need to reopen a CAF, you will need to download the relevant document: Reopen a CAF - guidance and form (Word, 176KB). Please note that this document is currently being reviewed.

Send a completed CAF

The completed CAF form should be sent in via email. Please make sure to include the hand-written signed consent sheet (clear, scanned copies), the Assessment, and the Request for Service.

1. Our preferred method: by email, using appropriate encryption to Find more information about using secure emails.


For more information, please contact CAF Triage directly on 01473 263210.

For queries regarding completing a request to reopen a CAF form and submitting at this stage, please phone the number above and ask to speak to a Triage Officer.


These are a selection of Signs of Safety tools, templates and help on using them that you may choose to use as part of your assessment.

If you need to send the completed assessment by email, please attach all the files and pages you have used to a single email and be clear which child or children it’s for.