Assessment Support

Step 1 Types of Assessment Step 2 Is it for Me?
Step 3 What Happens?
Step 4 Process & Contact

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

All enquiries are through the Single Point of Contact.  Please email

What an assessment can do

What an assessment cannot do