Common assessment framework

What is it?

The common assessment framework (CAF) is an approach developed nationally to help practitioners co-ordinate the delivery of services to children and young people with additional needs (those who need additional support over and above that provided by education and primary healthcare).

The CAF helps practitioners to gather and understand information about the needs and strengths of a child or young person, based on discussion with them, their family and other practitioners involved.

The CAF is completely consent based, so the child, young person and parent/carer must agree for a CAF to take place.

The benefits

The CAF will reduce the number of assessments that, in the past, some children and young people have undergone. This means that children and families will not have to keep repeating the same story to different workers.

The CAF will also support a better shared understanding and communication between different agencies and practitioners.

Who is it for?

The CAF is used to support children and young people who have additional needs and where more than one service is likely to be involved. The CAF is not intended to replace or delay specialist social work assessments or delay any concerns regarding children or young people who may be at risk of abuse or neglect.


Contact the Area Co-ordinator who will arrange training or support for your setting on a bespoke basis.


Send your CAF, TAF and closure forms to either or to your Area Co-ordinator, using the generic password.

If you have any queries about families who may have a CAF, about the CAF process or CAF training please contact your Area Co-ordinator.

Area 1 Co-ordinator is Carole Dawson

01325 406345 
Mount Pleasant Children’s Centre, Newton Lane, Darlington, DL3 9HE.

Area 2 Co-ordinator is Deb Archer

01325 406250 
McNay Street Children’s Centre, 2a Mc Nay Street, Darlington, DL3 6SW

Area 3 Co-ordinator is Pauline Coglan

01325 406177
Dodmire Children’s Centre, Rydal Road, Darlington, DL1 4BH.