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The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is a process that brings together a range of professionals to work with children, young people and families who need extra support.

If you are already working with a child or young person and their family – and you all agree that a wider range of support is required – the CAF can help you bring together different professionals and create an action plan to make sure the family gets all the help they need. It’s a voluntary process, and consent must be given by the child and/or family concerned.

Sometimes it can be difficult to know when a problem can be dealt with by your own organisation, or whether other agencies should be brought in.

Your first port of call should be to look at the Dorset Threshold Tool. It will help you identify issues at an early stage and make sure families receive the right support at the right time, which will hopefully stop problems from escalating. The tool helps you set goals with the family, track progress and decide when a common assessment, or a referral to children’s social care, is needed.

If you and the family agree that help from other agencies is the best way forward, you should start the common assessment process.

For more information and to access CAF forms and training information please visit DorsetForYou

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Inter-Agency Referral Form

As part of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) process, you may need to refer the case to another agency. In such situations please complete Dorset Inter-agency Referral Form

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The Graded Care Profile

The Graded Care Profile was developed as a practical tool to give an objective measure of the care of children across all areas of need. The profile was developed to provide an indication of care of children on a graded scale. It is important from the point of view of objectivity because the ill effect of bad care in one area may be offset by good care in another area.

This tool is especially useful when applied in cases of neglect. It can be used to improve understanding about the level of concern and to target areas for work as it highlights areas of greater risk of poorer outcomes.

The Profile can be used directly with the family by individual workers, or groups of workers and indirectly as an assessment or supervision tool. It can contribute to the CAF, Initial and Core Assessments and inform Team around the Child, Child in Need and Family Group meetings, Child Protection Conferences and Core group meetings.