Initial Needs Identification

What is Initial Needs Identification?

Initial Needs Identification (INI) is not a diagnostic process but is a determination of the young person’s risk, eligibility and priority for services. INI is one of the Service Coordination operational elements and is a second step in the young person’s journey through the service system.

"The Initial Needs Identification process is essentially an initial screening for risk and service requirements."

INI allows for the young person’s needs to be broadly identified, early in their contact with the service system, not just those needs that can be met by the agency or school. Young people and their parents and carers can be subsequently informed about the range of service options available to meet their needs and consideration can be given to the wider range of service supports and resources.

Who can conduct INI?

INI needs to be done by staff that possess a broad understanding of the service system, advanced interviewing skills and high-level interpersonal skills, including the ability to develop a rapport with the young person.

INI is conducted differently in every agency. INI may be done by dedicated Service Coordination workers (or intake and duty workers) in one agency and by individual practitioners in another.

Benefits of Initial Needs Identification Process

The INI process provides opportunity for:

  • Identification of the young person’s presenting and underlying issues
  • Early identification of the young person’s risks
  • Early intervention
  • Information provision regarding available support options

More information

For more information visit Service Coordination page.