Creating a Needs Assessment

Creating a Needs Assessment

The planners and implementors of successful human services programs utilize many strategies and techniques during the development phases of their projects. They conduct extensive research to identify the needs of their clients, the intricacies of the social problem, and the causal components of the social problem. They also formulate goals and objectives for the outcomes of their programs.

Conducting a needs assessment is an essential component of the planning and development phase for a human services program. A needs assessment does not need to be complex or financially burdensome, but should make use of available resources to determine the accurate needs of the program’s clients and how to address those needs. This can involve a variety of methods of gathering information, including conducting surveys of the clients and perusing secondary sources of information.

In this Assignment, you will formulate strategies of performing a thorough needs assessment for the program featured in the case study. You will also develop a set of goals and objectives to encompass the purpose of the program in the study.

Before you begin a needs assessment, ask yourself, “What information sources are available?” Then, identify the types of needs into which each information source could provide insight. Think about primary sources that would be helpful, including individuals, organizations, and groups that comprise your target population or clientele. Also consider any useful secondary sources of information that would inform your needs assessment, including research studies and the ideas of experts.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review Chapter 5 in your course text, focusing on the various approaches to measuring need. Consider the different tools for gathering information and when each type is most appropriate.
  • Review Chapter 7 in your course text,focusing on the differences between outcome objectives and process objectives.
  • Select one of the case studies listed in the Learning Resources to use for this Assignment.
  • Review the case study you selected, and think about how you might determine the actual needs of the population featured in the case study and how you would state these as goals and objectives.
  • Think about the actual goals and objectives related to the strategies employed in the program featured in the case study.

The Assignment (1–2 pages):

  • Summarize the purpose of conducting a needs assessment for the population in the case study.
  • Identify several methods for performing a needs assessment of the population in the case study (homeless families).
  • Explain how you would find the normative, expressed, perceived, and relative needs of the population, and outline the data collection procedure(s) for each of the methods you identify.
  • Formulate a set of goals and objectives for the program in the case study based on the apparent needs of the population as outlined in the case study.
  • Finally, provide a brief explanation of the importance of having a cohesive mission statement and set of goals within an organization.
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