Child and family assessment by a social worker
Last updated 21 June 2023
For children with the highest level of need, a statutory child and family assessment (CAFA) can be completed by a social worker. The assessment is the process used to gather information about your child and family to decide about the help you may need.
A CAFA aims to understand the family circumstances and considers:
- all the help that the disabled child needs
- the needs of any other children in the family
- the help that the parent carer may need to care for the disabled child
The assessment is child and family centred and is holistic as it considers:
- the child’s needs within their family and wider community
- whether the parent carer needs support to meet the needs that come from their caring responsibilities
A Stockport Family social worker will form a holistic understanding of the family’s lived experience by talking to:
- the parent(s)
- the disabled child
- any other children in the family if they’re able to give their views
- family members
- other people who know the family such as a teacher or GP, only with consent
A CAFA will be completed within a maximum of 45 working days. The CAFA can lead to services, including short breaks being provided to support families. Many children with disabilities will have an assessment and be supported by the locality social work teams. All Stockport Family teams and services can contact the children with disabilities team for advice, guidance and support.
A parent carer of a disabled child under 18 has the right to a separate carer's assessment of their own if the CAFA for the child under the Children Act does not fully meet all their needs.
How to request an assessment
To request an assessment, contact the Multi Agency Safeguarding and Support Hub (MASSH).