Project: Evaluating the Common Assessment Framework and Lead Professional Guidance and Implementation in 2005-6

Funder: Department Education and Skills

Dates: 2005 – 2006

Research Team: Marian Brandon

This national evaluation offers a snapshot of a diverse selection of common assessment framework and lead professional activity in 12 English areas chosen by the DfES to trial these processes ahead of the national roll out after April 2006. A total of 114 practitioners and managers were interviewed and early CAF and LP practice was followed among a group of eight practitioners. The evaluation tested the congruence between the local visions of the Every Child Matters Change for Children Programme and the realities in the early stages of implementation of these new ways of working. Findings revealed considerable enthusiasm at both grass roots and management level for CAF and LP work in all the areas studied and more than half of those interviewed felt, that even at this early stage, these processes were promoting better multi-agency working, helping agencies to come together much faster and enabling more rigorous follow-through in delivering services. Practitioners were already identifying some positive impact on the lives of children and their families. However more than two thirds of interviewees said that CAF and LP activity was adding to their workload. It was not easy for all sectors to grasp the changes required for holistic assessments and partnership with families. Anxiety and frustration was generated by lack of clarity about how the work was to be done, lack of support, threshold differences and lack of join up between agencies and sectors.

Published by DfES Research Report 740 - click here to view the full report

Brandon M, Howe A, Dagley V, Salter C and Warren C (2006) What appears to be helping or hindering practitioners in implementing the Common Assessment Framework and Lead Professional Working? Child Abuse Review, Vol 15 No 6 396-413 - click here to view the full report