The Common Approach to Assessment, Referral and Support (CAARS): Working together to prevent child abuse and neglect - final report

19 Jun 2013

The findings demonstrate CAARS has been a useful tool for practitioners from a range of professions and sectors. For many practitioners and organisations it has provided opportunities for new ways of building relationships with families and has helped develop a more holistic understanding of the family’s strengths and needs.

The Common Approach has encouraged practitioners to identify issues they would not usually identify within their daily practice, leading to more comprehensive referrals, more integrated support, and often the earlier identification of problems and difficulties.

This formative evaluation has identified that the key strengths of CAARS are that it:

  • provides a visual representation of the key domains of wellbeing that is strengths based, engaging and accessible for clients;
  • can be used flexibly by practitioners with different levels of expertise and across a the range of sectors and professions that work with children, youth and families;
  • encourages a strengths-based approach that normalises and strengthens pathways to support, recognising every family needs extra help at some stage throughout their lives;
  • supports practitioners to address all domains of wellbeing, even if they are outside of their area of expertise; and
  • facilitates client-led conversations that enable the family or young person to take the lead in identifying what they think their strengths, needs and priorities for action are.
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