As its name suggests, a service led assessment is one in which the help for the child is framed around what services exists. A needs led assessment by contrast looks at the situation for the child and what they require. For example ‘going to school’ is service led, whereas ‘education’ is needs led.
Framing assessments, and the case / care plans which are created as a result, by considering children’s needs are more useful , particularly in situations where there are reduced resources, as this help ensure that the plans are based on what is in the child’s best interests and also can encourage creativity in finding solutions for children. To take the earlier of education – there are many different ways that children can be educated, one of which is by going to school but there may be other options such as a tutor or learning club or a training scheme which might be more appropriate.