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Educational psychologist and a caf form.

(12 Posts)
hashtagwhatever Tue 18-Mar-14 22:13:48


I had previously posted in SEN section but was advised here may be better for traffic.

Dd is 6 yo and in year one. She was late to reach milestones mainly gross motor delay and has had a mri Eeg and various bloods done.

Mri showed a shadow which wasnt thought to be of significance a abnormal eeg and a raised level of creatine kinase also low calcium levels. It was decided that a watch and wait approach was best although not much watching happened. But as of now she is quite far behind academically.

School senco has referred dd for ot, assessment with ed psych and some sort of assessment sheet for spd.

Today I signed a report written up by the senco which included my thinking, hers and dd class teacher I noticed it said caf at the top. Upon googling caf I haven't read much other than bad experiences. Im not at all clued up so have a couple of questions if thats ok?.

What exactly is caf?. Will dd be diagnosed by the ed psych if needs be. Sorry if any information is missing or the post is a bit rambling.

Im grateful for any answers.

Thank you

amymouse Tue 18-Mar-14 22:43:42

For us, our experience of CAF (common assessment framework) has been really helpful; after the bit of paperwork we had TAC (team around child) meetings which in our case were just multidisciplinary meetings whereby all the professionals like paed, SALT, SENCO etc come together and discuss how they each things are going and agree common goals they think collectively are important. It's really helped as otherwise they wouldn't all listen to each other prior and their reports constantly contradicted each other. They can be a bit draining; an hour discussing your child's deficiencies etc, but I'm glad we do them.

They should have discussed it with you though, asked your permission and made it clear what you were signing. I know when we went into it, I sat down with the "lead professional" who was our brilliant physio who suggested it, and we wrote down all the positives and areas needing support for DD.

BackforGood Tue 18-Mar-14 23:08:58

Exactly what amymouse said.
Common Assessment Framework is designed to ensure that all agencies work together to ensure your dd gets all the support she needs.
No, it's not perfect. Yes I suspect that there have been people who have used it inappropriately, and I know that for some they have been persuaded to have a CAF but it hasn't really had an impact, but there are also great numbers of families for whom it has been really helpful. Thing being, people don't usually come on to a forum like this to say things are going really well, they come on when there is an issue, so you get a skewed view.
You should have a Lead Person (chosen by you, or indeed, it can be you) who is your advocate and support through the process.

The SENCo should have been clearer about what a CAF was though, but you'll know going forward that you need to speak up in any meeting and ask when any jargon or abbreviation is used, or people/processes are referred to that you don't know who/what they are. smile

No, and Educational Psychologist cannot diagnose anything. Only a medically trained person can diagnose - so in our authority that would always be a paediatrician. The EP has an education and research background, not a medical one.

Jerbil Wed 19-Mar-14 05:09:31

I've been informed that the new EHC plan that will replace the statement will rely heavily on a cAF so definitely worth having IMO.

hashtagwhatever Wed 19-Mar-14 10:38:45

Thank you for replying.

Can I ask if dd needed a statement who decision is that and when will that be decided? As I said dd is very behind she can write her name mostly but at times misses letters and will get the numbers to ten in the correct order with help but as soon as she is left to do her work alone she is lost again .

She is still very little but I just don't want her to not progress because there isn't someone to sit by her and help her with her work. Its almost like she needs a prompt you can tell her something to do but as soon as you walk off she forgets like she doesn't process information as we would.

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 19-Mar-14 12:18:12

i think normally with a CAF it is the initial way of being assessed for what areas are a problem so referral to a paediatrician for example who can then decide which other teams may need to be involved to help her. If it is processing issues then they should refer to whoever would diagnose and then help with those, if it is hearing or speech then the same, if it is a combination or possible combination then to all of them for different assessments.

hashtagwhatever Wed 19-Mar-14 13:55:59

Excellent thank you so much im pretty clueless here.

So definitely this is the way forward to help dd get whatever help she needs.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 19-Mar-14 14:17:29

Different perspective - when I initially raised concerns with DS1's school there first approach was to fill in a CAF. As neither DH or I were involved with services (criminal justice, welfare, social services, mental health team etc) the form was irrelevant as only a small part relates to educational difficulties. Even where it is, it is assumed that the parent's difficulties are likely to be the cause. If your child only has dealings with the NHS it is really not necessary to give blanket consent to access your records - particularly if they just amount to personal medical information. Are you happy to share them with all and sundry?

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 19-Mar-14 14:18:20

Their not there blush

mumsuz Wed 19-Mar-14 16:53:28

Our SENCO suggested filling in the CAF as a way of getting the Local authority educational pyschologist to come and assess dd. We helped fill in the CAF and I thought it was a useful way of spelling out all of dd's difficulties - physical, speech and language, epilespy, learning etc.
In our LA, the school sends off the CAF and asks for the ed pysch to come in.

We decided to apply for a parental request to assess at the same time - though I think the CAF has an appendix C which can be filled in as the school's request to assess for a statement.

Is your DD on either of the school SEN programmes, school action or school action plus? A statement is often requested if it can be shown that these are not working.

I think it would be worth asking your SENCO how the CAF and statement process work together in your area. I know that our local authority, Haringey likes the school to use the CAF but it is not a prerequiste to starting the statementing process.

Also, I would ask for a copy of the CAF (if you have not already got a copy).

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 19-Mar-14 18:21:46

"Can I ask if dd needed a statement who decision is that and when will that be decided?"

CAF is not a prerequisite to starting the statement process and CAF meetings can be a lot of hot air. Infact I would seriously now consider making a personal application to the LEA for a statement is a helpful website.

LEA make that particular decision once you have applied for such a document. Also doing that may well trigger the Ed Pysch coming in. Statements can take around 6 months to set up once agreed and they initially have 6 weeks to make a decision whether to assess or not (you can appeal the decision not to assess if that happens).

hashtagwhatever Thu 20-Mar-14 08:17:28

Yes dd is on the SEN register and school action they have a extra helper in dd's class who sits with her alot of the time on the days he is there but he isn't officially for dd so obviously has to help other children

The tac part is needed as before dd was seen in different hospitals and although letters get sent they aren't always read before filing, recently I learnt dd wasto have another eeg after her first showed abnormal spike activity. That was in 2009 yet was only noticed now as I requested some letters from the neuro at GOSH to the GP so I could provide the senco with the results dd had done previpreviously

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