Resources for professionals

On this page you will find information and resources on a range of different topics.

The tools below are derived from a range of sources and many are not Cafcass original documents. Each tool has been identified for use by Cafcass staff. Information on the source of each document is referenced in the further information section below. 

Table last updated: 08/08/2022


Child Impact Assessment Framework

Direct work with children resources

Cafcass Family Forum top tips for Children’s Guardians working with parents in public law proceedings

General assessment tools and guidance

  • Public law tools
    Guidance on use
    Understanding of concerns An assessment tool which can be used with the parent/s at the commencement of involvement. This is to assist the Guardian to assess the parents/carers understanding of the concerns (which is a first step in assessing their capacity to change). This can be reviewed at the end of the proceedings to reflect on what changes have or have not been made. Fowler 2003
    Understanding of concerns, impact on child and actions to be taken An assessment tool which can be used with the parent/s/ carers at the commencement of involvement, to further consider their understanding of the concerns, the impact on the child, and any actions which the parents/carers need to take in order to address the concerns. These actions can then be reviewed towards the end of the court proceedings. Cafcass
    Capacity to change An analytical tool which can be used after the interviews with the parents/carers to evidence their capacity to change. This can be reviewed at the end of the proceedings to inform final recommendations. Adaption of Di Clemente & Prochaska (1982)
    Neglect Appraisal Tool The tool methodology was derived from the Graded Care Profile which helps to ascribe levels of risk and was aimed for public law practitioners for their use when doing their gap analysis in order to help them independently assess levels of risk and so inform and evidence their position regarding interim removal, where neglect is a key issue. NSPCC
    A 12-step process for assessing the risk of re-abuse to a child, parenting capacity and prospects of rehabilitation An analytical tool which can be used to consider risks to the child/ren, should they return home to their previous caregivers. This was the tool looked at in detail on the Child Protection Decision Making training. For further detail on its use individual or group training can be commissioned. Bentovim et al (2009)
    Domestic abuse – what we need to know use in interview to establish the nature, duration and context of domestic abuse. Cafcass
    Child Exploitation Screening tool This tool can be applied to all children (male and female) under the age of 18 and its purpose is to enable practitioners to assess a child’s level of risk of CSE and/or CCE in a concise and consistent manner. Cafcass
    Parenting daily hassles scale An assessment tool which can be used with the parents/carers to consider their view of the children’s needs and how they are coping with these needs. DoH 2000
    Mental health thinking tool This is a tool to help organise FCAs thinking and critically review evidence in cases where parents have mental health difficulties. It is not designed to be a prescriptive or definitive measure of risk and should be used in the context of the overall structured professional judgement, in conjunction with the broader evidence in the case. Dr Sheena Webb, Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust for Cafcass, 2017.
    Sexual behaviours traffic light tool This tool lists examples of presenting sexual behaviours within four age categories. All green, amber and red behaviours require some form of attention and response, but the type of intervention will vary according to the behaviour. This tool must be used within the context of the guidance provided and should not be used in isolation. Brook Sexual Behaviours Traffic Light Tool adapted with permission from True Relationships & Reproductive Health. (2012).
    Home conditions assessment An assessment tool which can be used if making a home visit where there have been concerns about neglect and poor home conditions. DoH 2000
    Resilience/Vulnerability Matrix (Calder, 2006) An analytical tool which can be used to explore the resilience and vulnerability factors in children; which enables an assessment specific to the individual child. From Gorden et al. (2000)
    Rosenberg self-esteem tool A 10-item scale that measures global self-worth by measuring both positive and negative feelings about the self. From Rosenberg, 1965


Cafcass is not responsible for the contents or reliability of the linked websites and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them. Listing shall not be taken as endorsement of any kind. Cafcass cannot guarantee that these links will work all of the time and has no control over the availability of linked pages.


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