Common Assessment Framework
The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is an early help inter-agency assessment. It offers a basis for early identification of children's additional needs, the sharing of this information between organisations and the coordination of service provision. Early help assessments should identify what help the child and family require to prevent needs escalating to a point where intervention would be needed via a statutory assessment under the Children Act 1989.
The findings from the Common Assessment may give rise to concerns about the child's safety and welfare. In these circumstances, it should be used to support a Referral to Children's Social Care: however undertaking a CAF is not a pre-requisite for making a referral.
Department for Education website