Is it for Me?
What is an Early Help Assessment (CAF)?
The Early Help Assessment (CAF) is the assessment tool used to assess needs that are not being met through personalised or differentiated provision, where a child and family would benefit from coordinated support from more than one service.
When would I use an Early Help Assessment (CAF)?
If you have tried to meet the child or young person’s needs from within the full range of universal provision without progress/success you will now need to engage additional support from other services. In doing so you will need to decide whether the needs identified can be met by involving one other service or if multiple services may be required. If you have not already done so, discuss your concerns with the family (and young person as appropriate). You will need their consent to share information with another agency to access additional support. If you decide the child or young person’s need can be met from one other service and you have consent, you can refer to them directly. If you decide the child or young person’s needs require support from more than one service and you have consent you will need to undertake an Early Help Assessment (CAF) with the family (or check if an Early Help Assessment (CAF) has already been initiated). Users should download and save the Early Help Assessment form in either their ‘my documents’ or their desktop to ensure that they are able to save their assessment).
Not sure what to do?
If you, as a professional, have concerns that a child or a family need extra support (through the Early Help process or otherwise) but need advice as to the resources available to provide that support, your Early Help Adviser will be your point of contact. In addition, you can obtain advice and support about the Early Help process in order to enhance the quality of your assessments and support planning. This can also include the identification of training needs should this be necessary.
- Advice on relevant services
- Referral criteria of supporting agencies (remit, age appropriateness, level of need catered for, specialisms etc.)
- Support with determining the support needs of a young person and their family
- Advice on TAF meetings (chairing, Lead Professional appointment, who to invite)
- Early Help Assessment (CAF) quality assurance
- Practitioner development and training
- Information on funding sources
- One-to-one and group consultations (case discussion and advice)
- Guidance regarding evidence informed and evidence based practice
To contact the Early Help Team please email firstname.lastname@example.org
What an assessment can do
The Early Help Assessment (CAF) is a tool to help practitioners engage with the child, young person and their family.
The Early Help Assessment (CAF) supports practitioners to effectively identify needs, strengths and possible solutions.
The Early Help Assessment (CAF) provides a framework to work in partnership with both the family and other services.
What an assessment cannot do
The Early Help Assessment is not a referral form
Information in the assessment can’t be shared without consent
The Early Help Assessment cannot be completed without the child, young person or family’s involvement
When should I complete an Early Help Assessment (CAF)?
You should consider completing an Early Help Assessment if you have identified with the child, young person or family that they require support that your organisation or network cannot meet. If you are not sure please look at the guidance (hyperlink to new guidance) or contact Earlyhelp@croydon.gov.uk
How will I know if an Early Help Assessment has been done already?
If you are unsure please contact Earlyhelp@croydon.gov.uk or your Locality Early help Adviser directly and they can check the system. If a CAF is already in place, they will put you in touch with the Lead Professional.
I am not an expert in some areas of the form, what do I do about these?
Complete the form as much as you can with the child, Young Person or family. If the family are willing and consent you will be able to contact key professionals to provide relevant information. If you need support contact Earlyhelp@croydon.gov.uk