Journal Article

Conducting Needs Assessments in Children's Services

Nick Axford

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 1, pages 4-25
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Conducting Needs Assessments in Children's Services

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Recent years have witnessed a revival in the popularity of measuring need in developing and developed countries as a precursor to distributing health, education, housing, social security and social care resources. The concept of needs-led children's services has particular purchase in England and Wales, where there is a legal requirement for local authorities to identify and assist ‘children in need’. Yet, children's services agencies have consistently struggled to do this meaningfully and efficiently. This article analyses the strengths and weaknesses of needs assessments in the field before discussing new methods that are appearing. The final section considers how to encourage children's services to shift resources into the new methods.

Keywords: Needs assessments; child welfare; children's services; evidence-based practice; need

Journal Article.  8481 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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