Evaluating the Common Assessment Framework pilot in Sunderland

Improving service delivery

The CAF gives statutory and voluntary sector agencies working with children, young people and families an assessment tool to aid early identification of support needs. Evaluating the effectiveness of the CAF is therefore vital to the development of integrated early intervention services.

Local research and evaluation

Qa was commissioned by Sunderland City Council to evaluate the Common Assessment Framework and Lead Practitioner role pilot project in two areas of the city.

A mixed methodology approach involving desk research, face-to-face and telephone interviews, and family case studies was agreed.

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Evaluating the effectiveness of the CAF is therefore vital to the development of integrated early intervention services

provide a much clearer sense of responsibilities within a multi-agency processConducting research with a variety of local practitioners and stakeholders was expected to:

  • allow Lead Practitioners to articulate their expectations and role within the CAF
  • assess the knowledge, awareness and reach of the CAF amongst local Early Years, Connexions and Health practitioners
  • offer a snapshot of family life during CAF intervention
  • help determine outcomes for the families involved

Informing changes at local level

Sunderland City Council now has a greater understanding of the training and on-going support needs of Lead Practitioners, where CAF fits in with other statutory assessments, and how thresholds of need are applied across agencies.

For more details e-mail anne.heaven@qaresearch.co.uk or call 01904 632039