Delivering Early Help
CAF Information for Parents
CAF - When Children need some extra help
What is CAF?
Sometimes a child or children might need some extra support to achieve their best in life. CAF helps everyone build up a complete picture of how things are for your child(ren) and what support they might need.
It is a way of helping everyone to work out what help is needed at an early stage before a small need grows into a larger one.
Who is CAF for?
The CAF process can be used for children 0-18, up to 19 if Connexions is working with them or up to 24 if a young person has a learning difficulty or disability.
How can CAF help?
CAF involves you and your child(ren) having a conversation with someone who works with you or your child, to find out what is going well for your child and if there is other support they might need. The information gathered during this conversation is recorded on a standard CAF form.
Once you are happy with everything on the form you will be asked to sign it. You get a copy of the form and you also decide which other services the form could be shared with to help get the support needed.
You will not have to keep telling your story or asking for help from different services.
Is it my choice?
Yes, CAF is voluntary and can only be started if you agree.
Older children might want to make their own decision about a CAF being started or not.
What happens next?
Based on the information you and your child provide, the service you have talked to might be able to give the support required. A referral might be made to one service or a Team Around the Family meeting may be organised, involving all the services that might be able to provide support, to discuss the best way to help.
At the meeting a plan and a Lead Professional will be agreed.
What is a Lead Professional
This is the person who will co-ordinate the support that has been agreed in the plan. The Lead Professional will listen to your views and answer your questions.
You and your child will have a say in who will be the Lead Professional.
Usually the information, which you and your child provide, will only be shared with your family's consent. However, there might be certain times when the people working with you need to share information. For example:
- To help protect a child who is at risk of harm
- When an adult is at risk of harm
- To help prevent or detect a serious crime
Want to know more?
You can talk to someone who works with your child - perhaps a health visitor, children's centre, pre-school or school. You can also talk to someone who works with you - perhaps a midwife, social worker or housing officer. Or you could phone the Early Help Co-ordinators on 01634 334325 and 338668, or email email@example.com.