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 Needs Assessment Tool

Needs Assessment Tool

The Needs Assessment Tool, or NAT, will be launched on the 1 December 2016, signalling a new standard and approach for making needs based decisions for children in care.
The NAT is a case management tool specifically developed to assist child protection workers, and their care team, to consistently identify and assess the complex and changing needs of children in care, in a user friendly way.

The NAT asks a short series of questions across the dimensions of wellbeing for a child in care’s behaviour, safety, health, relationships and care arrangements.
An accurately completed NAT provides immediately accessible information about a child’s individual needs that their care team can then use to effectively assist with care planning, case management and care arrangement decisions.  The NAT will also be vital in more effectively matching children with carers.

Completing the NAT

It is the responsibility of the Child Protection Worker to complete the NAT. When assessing the needs of children, Child Protection Workers will gather information through discussion with the child, the child’s carer, the community services sector case manager (if applicable) and other members of the child’s care team, for example parents and birth family.

To assist with the completion of needs assessments a guidance document has been developed. The guidance document provides behavioural indicators against each question across the dimensions to guide case managers to make their Needs Assessments.

For further information please see the factsheets and guidance document.


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  Launch date

 1 December 2016

  Initial NAT completion dates

Accelerated cohort
1 Dec 2016 - 31 Dec 2016.

   - Fremantle District
   - West Kimberley District
   - High needs programs

All other children
1 Dec 2016 - 28 Feb 2017

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