Approaches to Needs Assessment in Children’s Services

Edited by Harriet Ward and Wendy Rose.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
ISBN 1 85302 780 4

Never has the assessment of children’s needs been so vital and
elusive. As Lord Laming and his inquiry team consider their
recommendations, a wry thought might be permitted on the
increasingly sophisticated methods of delivering services and
continual concern at the quality of what is delivered. This book is
central to that thought by looking at the complex relationships
between need, service and outcome.

The book is divided logically into two parts. The first looks at
the population of children and both the identification and analysis
of their needs as the basis for service planning within a

There is an interesting chapter by Robert Page focusing on the
roots of social exclusion and an initial evaluation of Labour’s
social inclusion strategy. The verdict, nearly halfway though the
second term, is: “Could do better”.

Ruth Sinclair’s contribution, which looks at “taxonomy” for
children in need, is interesting.

The second part focuses on issues in assessing the needs of
individual children and their families as the basis for effective

This is a useful source book as we continue to struggle with need
and its assessment.

Chris Hanvey is UK director of operations,

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