Common Assessment Framework (CAF) Guidance
The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) helps clarify the level of need within a family and whether that need can be addressed by a single service.
You should always contact our social work duty team immediately if you have concerns about the safety of a child. Call 0191 433 2653 Monday - Friday, office hours or 0191 477 0844 during evenings, weekends or bank holidays.
In emergency situations call 999 for the police.
Visit Gateshead Local Safeguarding Children Board policies, procedures and guidance to read the Multi Agency Thresholds document. This will help you identify if the needs and risks a family are experiencing can be met through an early help response.
The CAF is the recognised 'early help' assessment process in Gateshead. If you're undertaking the CAF process with a family you should register the assessment with the Gateshead CAF team by email email@example.com or call 0191 433 2764.
When working with a family you can also contact us to check if the family is, or has been, open to a CAF process or other registered assessment and find out the contact details of the current or previous Lead Practitioner.
You should use the CAF to help identify needs at the earliest possible stage and when:
- worried about how well a child or young person is progressing;
- a child or young person or their parent/carer raises a concern with you. Child protection concerns follow the safeguarding processes given above;
- the child or young person's needs are unclear;
- it is likely that the child or young person's needs can only be met by two or more agencies working together.
Do not undertake the CAF process where:
- the child is progressing well and no additional needs are identified;
- needs are being met by universal services and the family shows evidence of appropriate self-help;
- your service can meet all the identified needs;
- you do not have consent to undertake and complete the CAF process.
Training about the CAF process, and a wide range of child and family support topics, is available for both council staff and partner agency employees. There are free training and development opportunities available for all types/levels of staff working with families.