Trafford Council is rolling out an electronic system for delivering frontline social care services, supporting multi-agency working and providing a standardised approach to assessing children’s needs.
The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is designed to make appropriate decisions at an early stage on individual cases. It forms part of the government’s Every Child Matters agenda, which aims to prevent children from slipping through the social care net.
The web-based version, eCAF, is used by social care practitioners to create and store CAF forms securely and electronically. Rollout at Trafford starts in August, reaching 1,300 council staff over 12-18 months.
To provide the best possible support and guidance, it is critical that the assessment process is carried out correctly, said Donna Mair, service development manager at the council.
“Different practitioners could interpret a situation differently, but this standardised approach ensures families get more co-ordinated and timely responses,” she said.
“It helps practitioners assess needs and make conclusions. If an assessment is poor, then the support plan will be poor and so will the outcome.”
Trafford’s system, provided by IT supplier Liquidlogic, supports secure information sharing with other social care, health and education organisations, as well as with voluntary and community groups including Barnardo’s and National Children’s Home.