Bedfordshire Children & Young People’s Strategic Partnership
INITIAL ROLL OUT OF COMMON
ASSESSMENT AND LEAD
Version 8 November 2006
1. Introduction Page 1
2. Purpose of Common Assessment Framework Page 2
3. Common Assessment Framework Procedures Page 3
4. Outcomes from the Common Assessment Page 4
5. Appendix 1 – Lead Professional Page 7
6. Appendix 2 – Links with other assessment processes Page 10
7. Appendix 3 – Process flowchart Page 11
8. Appendix 4 – Contact details Page 12
This document set out the proposed arrangements for the use of the Common Assessment Framework in the initial Bedfordshire roll out. It covers the following:
; use of the pre-assessment checklist
; use of the common assessment framework form
; appointment of a lead professional
The Common Assessment Framework is being introduced for two reasons:
; to enable staff to identify the needs of children and young people ; to co-ordinate early interventions at a local level to meet needs and
improve outcomes for individual children
The objective of phase one of the roll out is to test if the procedures proposed for the implementation of CAF achieve these objectives.
In Bedfordshire the implementation of the Common Assessment Framework is beginning in all services working with children in Learning Communities 2 and 6 (Leighton Buzzard and Bedford) in September 2006. It will then extend to Learning Communities 4 and 5 (Kempston/Wooton and Biggleswade/Sandy) in February 2007.
The implementation is being planned by the CAF Sub-grp – a multi-
agency group which is part of the Children and Young People’s
Strategic Partnership (CYPSP). The implementation plan has been agreed by the CYPSP and is part of the Children and Young People’s Plan 2006 – 2009.
Copies of this process and the Common Assessment Form are available on www.bedfordshirelscb.org.uk
THE PURPOSE OF THE COMMON ASSESSMENT FRAMEWORK
The Common Assessment Framework enables a group of professionals and the family to:
; pool their knowledge of the child and family
; identify areas of need and strength in the family
; agree a shared view of the outcomes that everyone is going to work
to for the child
; identify the services needed and to achieve a shared understanding
of the services that are being provided and the roles of the child, the
family and all of the agencies involved
; appoint a lead professional who will co-ordinate the work ; agree and co-ordinate any referrals for specialist additional input that
POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANT HARM
The Common Assessment Framework arrangements do not apply to a
child who may be suffering significant harm. Any child in these circumstances should be referred to children’s services for assessment
under the established child protection procedures.
1 INITIAL STEPS TO BE TAKEN IN RELATION TO A
CHILD OR YOUNG PERSON WHO MAY BE
A family member or any professional or staff member working with a child or young person may identify concerns.
Attempt to identify the additional needs and understand the reasons for the concerns through the steps you would normally take:
; discussion with colleagues
; trying to work with the child in a different way or arranging additional input
within your own team, agency or educational setting
; further discussion with the child / young person,
; further contact with the family such as a home visit
; a referral for a simple, specific identified service or resource which does
not require any further assessment
1Use the pre-assessment checklist to identify the outcome areas which are
not satisfactory and measure the progress that is being made. Try to record as much information as you can on this format. Alternatively individual agencies/educational settings may have their own formats. Discuss the outcome with a supervisor / manager / or the person identified in the establishment with responsibility for the implementation of Every Child Matters.
Monitor the success of this approach and its effect on the child. The Common Assessment Framework approach should be used if:
1 A list of lead staff in phase one of the CAF roll out is available from the CAF administrator. Copies of the pre-assessment checklist and the CAF form are available from these key professionals in your area. Copies may also be downloaded from www.bedfordshirelscb.org.uk
; despite the additional input provided, there are continuing concerns about
the progress the child is making in relation to any of the five Every Child
Matters outcomes or
; The reasons for the child’s vulnerability / possible vulnerability have not
been fully identified.
2 INITIATING THE CAF PROCESS
From this point, all further work will be based on the common
assessment process. Depending on the type of need and the complexity of the case, this could result in one of three outcomes:
1. a referral to an individual agency for a more complex assessment or
service using the CAF
2. a local meeting of the professionals involved to co-ordinate their
3. a referral to the Multi Agency Allocation Group (MAAG)
You need to gather enough information to decide which the best way to proceed is. The first steps are the same, though the order may vary according to the exact circumstances:
; Identify one person / member of staff to discuss the proposal to complete a
CAF with the family. Until the CAF is completed this person will be
considered as the lead professional.
; Contact the CAF co-ordinator / CAF administrator to see if there is already
a completed CAF form - in the early stages of the CAF roll out this is
2unlikely but as the roll out gathers pace, it will be an essential step. The
CAF administrator can be contacted at CAFadmin@bedscc.gov.uk or
; Discuss the CAF with the family in order to explain what the process will
involve, why you think it will help and what you hope it will achieve.
2 You do not need to obtain the family’s permission to find out if a CAF has been done. If there is already a CAF the co-ordinator will tell you if the family has agreed that it may be shared with other professionals. If permission was not obtained you should seek the consent of the family, explaining your reasons.
; Seek the agreement of a parent (or young person themselves if
appropriate) to carry out a CAF.
; Identify which other professionals are working with the family and should
be involved. The work on the CAF may be carried out by one person or it
may be better to divide the work between different professionals involved. ; Agree a timescale to complete the CAF. There should be a maximum of a
month between the first contact with the CAF administrator, to sending in
the completed CAF.
It is recognised that there will be variation from case to case as to how much information can be obtained for the CAF.
; All completed CAF’s should be emailed to the CAF administrator:
3 POSSIBLE OUTCOMES FROM THE COMMON
Once you have obtained as much information as you can under all of the categories included in the CAF form, review the next steps with your supervisor and the local CAF lead.
There are three options:
OPTION 1 IF A REFERRAL TO ANOTHER AGENCY IS REQUIRED
; If you believe you have a good understanding of what the child needs and
you are clear which agency and service is needed to help the child, you
should make a referral. Agencies are gradually reviewing their referral
arrangements to bring them into line with the Common Assessment
Framework, so you should complete as much of the CAF as you can and
then make the referral.
; The CAF form is also a multi-agency referral form, so agencies will accept
this in place of their own form – but they may need to request additional
OPTION 2 IF THE COMMON ASSESSMENT INDICATES THAT
PROGRESS CAN BE MADE BY THE NETWORK OF PROFESSIONALS
COMING TOGETHER TO PLAN AND CO-ORDINATE THEIR WORK AND
APPOINT A LEAD PROFESSIONAL
If you decide that further multi-agency intervention and co-ordination will be needed, the team / educational setting which identified the unmet needs should arrange a meeting of those who have been involved in order to: ; Compile the information from different agencies into a CAF if that hasn’t
already been done
; Agree on the needs identified
; Discuss and agree a plan of action to meet the needs identified ; Agree the actions that will be taken by the family and each of the
; Agree one person who will be the lead professional who will:
o Meet periodically with the family to discuss progress
o Take simple steps to make sure that the family and all the
professionals involved are kept aware of all developments
o Co-ordinate a review
OPTION 3 IF THE LOCAL NETWORK OF PROFESSIONALS CANNOT
IDENTIFY A SERVICE WHICH WILL MEET THE CHILD’S NEEDS, REFER
THE CHILD AND FAMILY TO THE MULTI-AGENCY ALLOCATION GROUP
Refer the child and family to the Multi-Agency Allocation Group, using the CAF form. The Multi Agency Allocation Group will refer the child and family to one of the resources available in the county and will recommend to the agencies who should act as the Lead Professional.
ROLE OF THE LEAD PROFESSIONAL
As part of the first phase of the Common Assessment Framework roll out, professionals identified by their agencies will be expected to join discussions about the appointment of a lead professional and adopt the lead professional role in appropriate cases. All agencies have agreed to participate in this aspect of the project so the burden will not fall disproportionately on any one group.
The lead professional will be appointed from the network of professionals already working with the family and will not be a specific post or an extra professional added to the network.
It is recognised that this is an experimental aspect of the CAF roll out and the multi-agency project steering group will monitor its implementation carefully and take into account feedback from staff involved. Training and briefing sessions will provide an opportunity to understand the role better.
It is intended that the lead professional role will be in the first instance a limited one which will make many of the roles that many professionals are already fulfilling more coherent. This includes:
; liaising with a network of colleagues
; co-ordinating the services that families receive and contributing to reviews ; ensuring that families have a good understanding of the services they are
receiving or which might be available to help them.
At present many staff act as a key worker within one service or educational setting. The lead professional role will develop this to take account of the full range of services which the family is receiving.
The lead professional role does not include:
; Any authority to take action on behalf of another agency, unless that is
; Any requirement to take action outside of their professional competence
; Any budget holding responsibility.
Initial arrangements for the role of the lead professional
1 Lead professional role whilst the CAF is being completed
If you (or someone else in your agency) has initiated the work on the CAF, you will remain responsible for ensuring that it is completed on time and remain the lead professional until another person is appointed.
2 Lead professional role once the CAF is completed
If you make a referral to another agency using the CAF, you will remain the lead professional until someone else takes over the role. The CAF co-ordinator will be able to advise as to which professional is best placed to hold the role.
If you convene a local multi-agency meeting, the group of local professionals and the family will recommend which person should act as the lead professional. This may be the person who was originally concerned about the child, or it may be another worker who is better placed to do this or in more regular contact with the family.
The person nominated needs to check with their supervisor (preferably before the meeting but if not then afterwards) that they are able to take on the role.