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Common Assessment Framework procedures, forms and support for professionals
We follow the Common Assessment Framework Guidance (PDF, 5.2MB) set out in the documents published by The Children's Workforce Development Council. For Cheshire East childcare practitioners, these should be used in conjunction with the CAF Process Flowchart (PDF, 155KB).
Common Assessment Framework forms
Copies of CAF documents completed should be sent to the Early Help Brokerage Team
When discussing consent and information sharing with children, young people and their families, practitioners should advise them that the form will be stored centrally and securely. (Information and You (PDF, 2.31MB) is available to give to families).
Practitioners completing Common Assessments should keep the original signed copies in a secure place, following their own agency procedures. If you will be sending it in to us electronically, please write "signed copy on case file" on the signature line(s).
Guidance for mangers and practitioners
For managers and practitioners:
Arrangements with other Local Authorities
Every Local Authority has its own arrangements for early help assessments; some use CAF as we do others use different assessments – but they are all fairly similar. It has been agreed across the North West authorities that each LA will accept another authorities forms. So for example if a child lives in Middlewich but attends a school in Winsford (Cheshire West) and some one from the school starts a CAF using the Cheshire West forms, we in Cheshire East will accept those documents. Similarly if a SENCO at a school in Wilmslow wishes to do a CAF for a child resident in Cheadle (Stockport) who attends Wilmslow school then Stockport would accept the Cheshire East paperwork.
A selection of CAF forms will be reviewed every other month by representatives from a range of agencies. Best practice will be shared in training and with the LSCB.
All CAF records are stored securely in the Children's Services case management system.
Consent and information
Young people and parents / carers should decide which information is shared and who with. This needs to be clearly explained and written in the appropriate section on the Common Assessment Framework Form.
Information should not be shared without consent, except in the following circumstances:
- when there is evidence or reasonable cause to believe that a child is suffering, or is at risk of suffering, significant harm
- when there is evidence or reasonable cause to believe that an adult is suffering, or is at risk of suffering, serious harm
- to prevent significant harm to a child or serious harm to an adult, including through the prevention, detection and prosecution of serious crime.
Further information is available in the cross-Government guidance on information sharing (PDF, 1.75MB), which includes the Seven Golden Rules for Information Sharing (PDF, 15.3KB).
A Cheshire East Leaflet is available on Information sharing and consent (PDF, 713KB) to give to young people and their families.