Kent Education Learning and Skills Information

Common Assessment Framework (CAF)


The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) tool aims to identify a child or young person’s additional needs which are not being met by the current services they are receiving. It is used to recognise these needs at the earliest opportunity and to provide co-ordinated support to meet the requirements.


The framework allows practitioners and families to work in partnership by using the solution-focused principles. These principles state that the CAF approach:

  • is used with family consent;
  • looks at the family as a whole by taking into account strengths as well as needs;
  • understands the role of the parents/carers and the wide range of family and environmental factors;
  • is simple to use and directed towards the practical delivery of support to families;
  • is building a working partnership with families by working together to identify and understand the issues and develop solutions;
  • is a tool to support practice which enhances communication within and between agencies;
  • enables and encourages information about the family, which has been collected between agencies, to be shared and to stay with the family using a TAF (team around the family);
  • is not a referral form;
  • supported by a set of service standards.


Our good practice and quality assurance documents give working examples of how the Common Assessment Framework has been used  to help and support families.



Service standards

Our service standards outline the minimum service criteria when using the Common Assessment Framework, which you can use to check the quality of your work with families.


Before a family start the common assessment process, you should give them the family service agreements and explain the document to them. You should also remind them of this document at the end of the process to make sure they have the opportunity to feedback on their experience.

It is through this feedback and other forms of monitoring that we can keep on providing Kent families the best standard of service.




CAF forms


CAF training

Training is available for those using the CAF process. For more information about the Integrated Processes training programme and information of how to apply, please visit our training page.