Identification, screening and assessment

Screening tools: Safeguarding and other needs

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Common Assessment Framework (CAF) form and pre-assessment checklist

Description of tool
The checklist is a simple 2-page A4 sheet or online document.

The form provides space for more detailed recording.

Time to administer
The checklist can be completed in a few minutes.

The form will take longer.

Both are intended to be completed in discussion with families.

Has tool been validated?
No, but the checklist is used routinely by many police authorities and the CAF form is used in most local authority areas as an initial assessment tool and, often, as a form to request help from other services.

Comments and how to access tool
Both tools are intended to be used to help workers check for any needs in relation to a child or young person’s safety, health, education and family relationships and, if needs are identified, to consider possible action by themselves and/or others.

The tools were designed to ensure that a broad range of needs could be identified and that children could get earlier access to services.

Check the Department for Education (DfE) web page (The CAF Process) for a link to each tool, and for relevant CAF resources and guidance:


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