What do they do?
Suffolk County Council has a wide range of responsibilities in respect of Children and Young People (CYP). They work with third parties, including, but not limited to, education providers, the NHS and the voluntary sector.
They also hold information on children and their families to whom they provide a service in order to help them support you and your family.
What is a CAF?
Common Assessment Framework – this is a way of working with families who need help.
A CAF Assessment will put the needs of the family at the heart of any decisions made. It is a shared assessment tool and aims to identify needs as soon as possible and bring together services to offer co-ordinated support.
The CAF is a voluntary process and used by people working for organisations including school, children centres and health services who know the child and family well.
The focus of the CAF is the child/children and their views which are an essential part of the process. The CAF process does not guarantee that a service will be provided, but it does provide evidence of a need for further information and support.
Would a CAF help my family?
If you or those who work with your family feel your child needs extra help because they have some unmet needs, you can choose to begin a CAF.
A CAF may be useful if your child is experiencing a range of difficulties; these might be around their emotional wellbeing or around their behaviour in the home or the local community. Most often it is when there is a combination of difficulties.
Usually, if the only difficulty you and your child are experiencing is around your child’s behaviour at school, a CAF is not appropriate.
Who can help me with it?
Mrs Anna Ball, our Family Support Worker in school is able to complete the CAF referral process with you.
This will involve talking with her about yours and schools worries, concerns and hopes for the future. She will support you throughout the referral process and continue to support you and your family alongside the allocated FSP.
Once a CAF referral has been submitted the team will assess the information and a decision will made as to whether the referral is accepted.
If successful you will be allocated a Family Support Practitioner from the Early Help team to support you and your family.
Early Help – this service provides support that has been identified through the Common Assessment Form (CAF) process that is not available from other services.
Early Help can also prevent further problems arising.
Early Help Teams have Family Support Practitioners who offer help and advice to families in need with difficulties such as parenting, safety planning, mediation and direct work with children/young people.
They arrange Family Network Meetings to bring together family, friends, community and professional support to help the family as a whole.
Help and advice
As always, Mrs Anna Ball is available to support, advise and signpost families.
Here are some sites that are really useful for parents and carers.