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

Read the safeguarding children guide.

Resources for safeguarding children

ResourceGuidance on useSource

SCODA - risk
assessment with parental drug

To be used in an interview to establish an
evidence base for analysis.


Practice aid for drug abuse

To be used in an interview to establish an evidence base for analysis.

Cafcass – adapted from Fowler, 2003

Alcohol use practice aid

To be used in an interview to establish an
evidence base for analysis.

Adapted from
Department of Health (DoH), 2000

Mental health thinking practice aidThis is a practice aid to help organise FCAs’ thinking and support them to 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.

Helping young  people affected by    parental mental illnessGeneral resources for professionals to be used when working with young people affected by parental mental illness. Our Time, 2018

Adult wellbeing scale

To be used in an interview to establish an
evidence base for analysis.

Department of Health, 2000

Child sexual
exploitation (CSE) screening practice aid

This practice aid can be applied to all children (male and female) under the age of 18. Its purpose is to enable practitioners to assess a child’s level of risk of CSE in a concise and consistent manner.


Practice aid for parenting knowledge and style

To be used to explore parents’ understanding of their child’s needs according to age and stage of development.

Cafcass – adapted from Fowler, 2003

Parenting daily hassles scale

An assessment practice aid 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.Department of Health, 2000

Neglect Appraisal Practice Aid

The practice aid methodology was derived from the Graded Care Profile which helps to ascribe levels of risk and was intended for public law practitioners to 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 (date unknown)