CAF and TAC tools

Picture of a family, drawn by Charlotte, aged 10

Before starting the process of completing a common assessment framework (CAF) it can often be helpful to read a case study as an example of what a completed CAF looks like:

  • Unborn baby CAF
  • Pre-school CAF
  • Pre-school CAF review and closure form
  • High school CAF
  • High school CAF review and closure form

This page provides you with the resources that you may need at the different stages of completing a CAF.


This includes initially engaging with the family to build a relationship where information can be shared effectively. It is important that the purpose and benefits of the CAF are explained to the family in a clear and concise manner. Leaflets that explain the CAF process to parents are good way to discuss what a CAF is. Preparation also includes taking into account any practical considerations; for example, the time and location of the meetings, child-care issues, etc. It is important to take into consideration the ethnicity, culture and faith of the family and meet their individual needs as best as possible. For example, is a translator needed?


Practitioners cannot begin to address the worry if they have not clearly identified it. There is a list of questions for the parent and a list of questions for the child or young person that you can use as prompts during your discussion(s) with the family. You need to ask the family what their concerns are as they may be quite different to yours, eg an education welfare officer might be concerned that a child isn't attending school, however the family's concern could be that they do not have enough money to pay for the child's uniform and that they are being threatened with eviction for rent arrears.

Before completing the CAF familiarise yourself with the form and the different domains (sections), this will enable you to assess which information goes where and avoid duplication. Information needs to be balanced, see the risks and protective factors triangle for guidance on what kind of things need to be considered. If there are no concerns in a particular domain then give positive information. Each domain is like a piece of a jigsaw. Only when you have all the pieces do you have a complete (holistic) picture.

A useful document that explains the process of information sharing between professionals is the 'information sharing pocket guide'. This will help clarify any information sharing issues you may have. Remember that you can only complete and share a CAF with the informed consent of the parent and/or young person.


This is not just your analysis of the assessment; it should be a collaborative process including the views of the child/young person, the family and co-professionals. You need to consider the impact of the current situation on the child.

The risk and protective factors triangle is useful to use as part of the analysis too.

CAF outcomes

Consider the following questions are part of your conclusions, solutions and actions:

  • What are your concerns - immediate and pressing?
  • Which areas do you need to target?
  • What can the family do to affect change?
  • What can universal services (services already involved) do to affect change?
  • What additional services may you need to bring in to support the child and/or family?
  • Do you need to convene a team around the child meeting to co-ordinate the services and support?

There will be some instances where a case will need escalating to children's social care from within the CAF and team around the child (TAC) arena. The CAF team team have produced guidance in supporting you to do this correctly. Cases can also move down the continuum of need as well. A social worker can close a case and hand it down to level 2 (TAC) or level 1 (universal). A transfer flowchart has been devised and is a useful tool to follow.

In some cases the child or young person will move to another local authority. The CAF can be passed on to the receiving agency as long as consent has been given from the parent and/or young person. The north west CAF group has devised a cross border protocol that will help you in instances such as this.

The graded care profile is a useful assessment tool that can be used to assess the level of neglect.

This page was last updated on 6 January 2016

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