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CAF Assessment

(30 Posts)
Izzywizzy75 Mon 23-Sep-13 20:13:13

Can anyone please tell me anything about what a CAF assessment is. I have recently been put in contact with a support worker who seems to be very nice, listens and seems to want to help. She said she is going to talk to Ds school to arrange CAF. I have been assuming this is a good thing and it will help Ds get support - ami I right? Thanks in advance

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 23-Sep-13 20:35:51

Well, a statutory assessment will get your child support in a school setting, a caf can signpost the family to services for the family iyswim.

Depends whether you think your family needs help or your ds.

Izzywizzy75 Mon 23-Sep-13 20:54:22

Oh well that's that one out the window then.
No it's not my family that needs the support its my Ds.
Thanks Star...simple words that make sense.
Can it not help at all with statementing or getting extra help at school.
The support worker seemed to think that she should have been called in long ago when I told her the problems Ds had been having at school, mainly social and communication issues. He is behind on literacy and maths but average on reading.

Izzywizzy75 Mon 23-Sep-13 20:54:52

I've signed a form to go ahead with CAF??

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 23-Sep-13 21:13:36

Why, what is she going to do?

Help him? how?

I don't like cafs but they do have their place. I would find out what the support workers thinks a caf might get you before you sign away your rights to not have information shared across agencies.

Izzywizzy75 Mon 23-Sep-13 21:42:27

Should I ask for my signature to be withdrawn tomorrow - no meetings have taken place yet and the school may have even refused to do it.
I already had a pead who tried to blame bad parenting for Ds hfa I can't take the risk with the CAF . There is no bad parenting that's not the issue.
So a CAF isn't a pathway to support at school ie autism outreach , etc

sammythemummy Mon 23-Sep-13 21:45:03

My senco wants me to do a CAF, i wasnt even sure what it wae but if its as what you say star then i want nothing to do with it. How do you decline it?

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 23-Sep-13 22:05:08

Basically, I wouldn't signing anything without knowing what I was signing it FOR.

If someone can sell me the benefits of my signature then I might though, but not just because someone wants to 'help'.

What do they actually want to DO?

The trouble is that they might tell you to stop asking for support then if you don't agree. Your reply is to request (in writing) a copy of any policy document that says your child should be denied educational support if the parents refuse to agree to a CAF.

And consider applying for a statutory assessment yourself, which you will have to sign, but you know what you are signing and why.

sammythemummy Mon 23-Sep-13 22:10:03

Your reply is to request (in writing) a copy of any policy document that says your child should be denied educational support if the parents refuse to agree to a CAF.

^ is there such a document?

Senco also said she wants to start statement once EP sees dd next week.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 23-Sep-13 22:12:47

I should hope there is no policy document, proving your point that a CAF does not need to be done.

If they say they need information, ask them what information they need. If they say they want to get the agencies together, ask them why and what for.

Hold them to account.

You can agree to a multi-agency meeting without doing a CAF and you can specify in the minutes that you do not consent to any sharing of information between them, but you will be more than happy to supply any document any of them request about YOUR ds.

beautifulgirls Mon 23-Sep-13 22:15:05

Our experience of a CAF was positive. DD was having issues, school and we were not sure exactly what they were and both school and we were struggling to get speech therapy for her despite quite marked issues in that area. It basically allowed the professionals necessary to get around a table and discuss her and for us to gather evidence to move forwards with the next steps to getting a diagnosis in place. In doing so we were able to start the evidence gathering we needed for a statement (though the EP involved was not supportive of that). Ultimately it allowed us to have a strong case at tribunal and DD was moved to an indi special school which was the best thing we ever did for her. There were no hidden agendas in our case and it was relatively informal meetings at the school periodically where concerns were discussed and plans made as to what to do next.

Izzywizzy75 Mon 23-Sep-13 22:25:58

The support worker who suggested tha CAF was very helpful she said she would recommened the CAF and ed pysc to the school. she said that in her view a parent knew their child better than anyone else and that some schools tend to forget this. however your right Star I should not have signed when I didn't knew what I was exactly signing I was just so pleased someone was actually seeming to go out of their way to help where the school was involved to be honest.
I think I will ask her to explain exactly who will be involved and what help can be offered and how
How do I get myself into these situations!

Izzywizzy75 Mon 23-Sep-13 22:27:48

Glad to hear your experience was positive beautifulgirls I guess for me it could go either way.
Did u find it was more an assessment based on family help rather than what can be done at school with regards to support.
Who is at a CAF?
Really should have found all this out before signing shouldn't I

Izzywizzy75 Mon 23-Sep-13 22:30:24

Star is it the sharing if information that I need to be wary of? Oh god what have I done

Izzywizzy75 Mon 23-Sep-13 22:32:09

Does having the CAF mean the school will help more than without it? This is the way it was sold to me. Your school arnt really helping, this is what I can do.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 23-Sep-13 23:16:12

The majority of people involved in CAFs really want to help and think they can offer something of value. Perhaps they can.

The majority respect the information and use it with integrity.

However it often makes a request for information that has no relevance to your situation or your ds i.e. Are you and your DP married? Do smoke? etc. Though you can always leave these bits blank if you think they are no-ones business.

If later on you find the need to go to tribunal for educational provision however, this information might be trawled through to find ways of putting pressure on you or to simply make a point, and since you have given consent for information sharing, they professionals if they want to could share things back and forth that could be held against you.

Sorry. I'm not trying to suggest that this WILL happen, or frighten anyone or stop anyone from getting support or help. But I do think it is prudent to think through some of the possible consequences as I think as desperate parents at the early stages we are keen to divulge everything in the hope that someone somewhere will help us.

It is, incidentally, perfectly okay to write to the key worker or the 'team' after the caf making it clear no further information sharing has your consent.

Izzywizzy75 Mon 23-Sep-13 23:37:16

Star I'm not even going any further with the CAF. I meant the support worker signed a form and then she was getting back to me about whether or not a CAF could be done. Even though I have signed the form no meeting will actually take place and no CAF forms will be filled out.
How can I be sure though that no info will be shared. If the CAF doesn't actually ever commence does this rule out the info sharing.

Izzywizzy75 Mon 23-Sep-13 23:38:47

Plus me and dh have just separated , they could have a field day with that!

Izzywizzy75 Mon 23-Sep-13 23:41:35

Please can you advise me on what you think I should say to the support worker tomorrow about not wanting the CAF and not wanting any info shared previously or in the future based on me signing her form.
I really do think she wants to help and is no way being sneaky or dishonest but it doesn't feel right which is why I came on here and asked the question in the first place

Izzywizzy75 Mon 23-Sep-13 23:57:02

Just one last thing. Do you think that turning down CAF now will effect my SA application ? Thx

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 24-Sep-13 08:14:14

Just ask her WHAT the purpose of the CAF is, and what OUTCOMES (this word is important) for your ds there will be from your doing one.

Then you can decide. Perhaps there will be good reasons for doing it. Sometimes there are. I imagine if you have separated they might want to look holistically at the family situation and see if getting the agencies there they can come up with some group or respite facility if you are on your own with your ds' difficulties, or whether someone can send out a playworker for a few weeks. Is this something you might find useful?

There are services outside of education that won't necessarily know of your need or be able to offer help that can be triggered by a CAF.

Though in my experience the CAF is used to justify refusal of services but I did have a pretty shit LA at that time.

I think it is a fair enough question to ask where the CAF will lead. You don't have to be rude about it.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 24-Sep-13 08:15:21

If they suggest it might affect your SA application then ask them why, and to give you the policy document that states this.

Then apply for a SA yourself (there is no requirement under the current system that states you have to have had a CAF).

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 24-Sep-13 09:28:51

CAF to my mind is a lot of hot air.

Refusing a CAF should in no way affect any application you yourself make for a Statement.

IPSEA's website is helpful re the whole statementing process and there are model letters on there you can use:-

sammythemummy Tue 24-Sep-13 09:30:14

Is there still a need for CAF after a dx?

Izzywizzy75 Tue 24-Sep-13 09:51:46

Thank you all.
My impression was that it was suggested to access help.
However I don't need help at home. Ds dad is fantastic and I get lots of breaks when he is with him. Relationship is amicable.
Star, when the support worker calls today I will ask her to
Those questions.
We have a private dx of hfa but still going through nhs for assessment in feb. I feel the nhs dx is important particularly if I am going to apply for SA.
My worry is with the CAF that they will try to dig for other reasons for Ds behaviour although I know the reason is his hfa. The paed we see is sometimes patronising and makes me feel like she thinks its something I'm doing. However the CAF lady seemed really open minded and not critical at all.
I don't feel comfortable with it though. I've looked into it more since posting on here and many people have had problems with them.

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