Needs Assessment of Children and Adolescents



Needs assessment is a frequently used term by all agencies involved in the welfare of children and adolescents, and is a key method in health service planning (Stevens & Raftery, 1994). However, there is often a lack of clarity about the meaning of the phrase ‘needs assessment’ (Cohen & Eastman, 1997). In addition, for CAMHS services there are few established research or clinical instruments to assess the needs of individuals. This review sets out first to describe some key concepts and issues and, second, to describe the development of a needs assessment instrument for adolescents with complex and multiple problems, and how such an instrument can be used in clinical and research settings.