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Common Assessment Framework procedures, forms and support for professionals
Common Assessment Framework forms
The steps in the CAF process are shown in the CAF Process Flowchart (PDF, 155KB).
Copies of completed CAF documents, including direct work with children and young people, should be sent to the Early Help Brokerage Team at email@example.com
If you have no access to secure email please use Egress
Common Assessment Framework Guidance
There is guidance included within the form below on how to complete each section of the form, along with a completed case example:
If you would like more information about Signs of Safety or Wellbeing please see the Signs of Safety page on the LSCB website. If you have any questions you can contact us at SignsofSafety@cheshireeast.gov.uk
Professionals may also want to refer to the multi-agency guidance on thresholds of need and levels of need poster on the LSCB website.
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.
Please see the section below on consent for more information.
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).
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 assessments and plans will be audited 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.