Journal Article

A Tale of Two CAFs: The Impact of the Electronic Common Assessment Framework

Andrew Pithouse, Christopher Hall, Sue Peckover and Sue White

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 39, issue 4, pages 599-612
Published in print June 2009 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online February 2009 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcp020
A Tale of Two CAFs: The Impact of the Electronic Common Assessment Framework

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Summary

The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is an electronic system for assessing children and sharing information between child welfare professionals, which is at various stages of pilot and implementation in England and Wales. Research by the authors in England (Peckover et al., 2008a, 2008b; White et al., 2008) and in Wales (Pithouse et al., 2004; Pithouse, 2006) informs this paper in order to compare CAF as implicating a number of policy ‘goods’, with CAF as a set of worker and organizational accomplishments.1 Our interest here is that in the course of implementation, policy aims have become submerged in day-to-day practice and that, analytically, there are differences between the ‘CAF of policy’ and the ‘CAF of practice’; in brief, there are, conceptually, two CAFs, the formal construct of policy and the applied CAF as constructed by multiple organizations across Wales and England, wherein there is no singular model. Indeed, we demonstrate that there are all manner of common assessment designs operating in the world of practice. Rather than rehearsing our research findings (the above sources offer an abundance), we use this opportunity to develop and synthesize our arguments about key assumptions and conceptual properties that underpin the CAF of policy and practice and which may have wider provenance in respect of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in child welfare.

Keywords: Child welfare; interprofessional working; children and families; children's rights; information technology

Journal Article.  5743 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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