1.4 Family Support Process and Forms (Previously Common Assessment Framework)


This chapter was updated in February 2018 to reflect the replacement of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) by the Family Support Process.

The Family Support Process (FSP) for children and young people is underpinned by the Family Support Form (FSF) which supersedes the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) in Norfolk. The FSF is a shared assessment tool that helps practitioners develop a shared understanding of a child’s needs, so they can be planned for more effectively, using the Delivery Plan and Delivery Plan Review process. The multi-agency assessment and plan will avoid children and families having to tell and re-tell their story (click here for more information on the Norfolk Early Help Website).

The FSP is an important process for early intervention. It has been designed specifically to help practitioners assess needs at an earlier stage and then work with families, alongside other practitioners and agencies, to meet them. In Norfolk we use the FSP with two distinct threshold levels (please add link to Threshold Guide). We refer to ‘Universal FSP’ when Children’s Services are not involved in providing services and universal services are using the process to support a family at Level 2 of the Norfolk Threshold Guide. Children’s Services Early Help Family Focus teams are also working to this process when the service required is at Level 3 of the Norfolk Threshold Guide.

The FSP is not for when there is concern that a child may have been harmed or may be at risk of harm. In these circumstances the procedures set out in Part 3 of this Manual must be followed.

Some children have important disadvantages that currently are only addressed when they become serious. Sometimes their parents know there is a problem but struggle to know how to get help.

The most important way of ensuring that these children can be identified earlier and helped before things reach crisis point is for everyone whose job involves working with children and families to keep an eye out for their well-being, and be prepared to help if something is going wrong.

The FSP has been designed to help do this. It is a process used to identify and plan support for a child or young person who has unmet needs which cannot be met without additional intervention. It covers all of a child/young person’s developmental needs, not just the needs that individual services are responsible for (and therefore interested in). Even if a practitioner is not trained to do an FSP him or herself, there is support available in the form of training or direct support from the Children’s Services Process Teams.

See also “The Common Assessment Framework for children and young people: Practitioners’ Guide”, 2006, and “The Common Assessment Framework for children and young people: Managers’ Guide”, 2007 (DfE link appears to be out of date?? – refers to Every Child Matters and also no mention of Troubled Families), which can be found at the Department For Education website.

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