Early Intervention, Using the CAF Process, and its Cost Effectiveness: Findings from LARC3

Claire Easton, David Teeman, Geoff Gee, Ben Durbin

04 April 2011

The Local Authority Research Consortium (LARC), established in 2007, supports children’s service authorities in using and conducting research to evaluate progress, to inform practice, share findings and make recommendations locally and nationally.

Previous research through LARC has demonstrated the importance of the Common Assessment Framework and associated processes in providing the systematic underpinning for effective integrated working that makes a positive difference to the outcomes for vulnerable children and families. In the context of reduced public funding, a key question for the future is the extent to which the CAF process itself is cost effective, both in enabling better early intervention with a consequent reduction in the demand for more costly specialist services. During 2010, the 21 participating LAs in LARC undertook and documented local research projects in order to answer this question. This work (referred to later as LARC3) builds on the first two LARC projects conducted over the period 2007-09.

This report presents the broader picture that emerges from LARC3.