The common assessment framework (CAF) should be developed into the standardised tool for assessing children’s additional needs, a report on early intervention has found.
Published today, ‘Grasping the nettle: early intervention for children, families and communities’, was a combined effort by the Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People’s Services (C4EO) and the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS).
“In order to consolidate the use of the CAF, rapid progress should be made in making it the standard mechanism for conducting assessments and accessing additional support for both children and families,” the report stated.
The authors also said that national and local policy needed to prioritise early intervention on the early years. “There is now compelling evidence to show that what a child experiences during the early years lays down a foundation for their whole life, which needs to be reflected in policy and practice, at a local and national level.”
The report’s recommendations on effective early interventions also include: ensuring children’s centres had an effective outreach strategy to target and support the most vulnerable; more emphasis on highlighting the benefits of breastfeeding; and how improving language and communication skills needed more prioritisation.
The report has been submitted to the independent commission on early intervention, which was set up by the government and is chaired by Graham Allen MP for Nottingham North.
What do you think? Join the debate on CareSpace
Keep up to date with the latest developments in social care. Sign up to our daily and weekly emails