Discussion: Planning a Needs Assessment

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Social workers often identify client problems that suggest the need for a new or more focused service. Rather than bemoaning the lack of resources, many social workers consider creating new services in the future. They might next imagine what an appropriate service or program would look like. This week, you generate a needs assessment plan for a program that meets an unmet need of your choice.

To prepare for this Discussion, review the examples of needs assessments presented in both of the readings. Consider the elements of a needs assessment plan that you must include in your own plan.

By Day 3

Post a needs assessment plan for a potential program of your choice that meets a currently unmet need. Describe the unmet need and how current information supports your position that a needs assessment is warranted.

Identify the sources of information that you might use when conducting a needs assessment, including potential informants. Explain who among these potential informants would be valuable resources and why. Identify steps for obtaining credible, unbiased information.



Required Readings

Dudley, J. R. (2014). Social work evaluation: Enhancing what we do. (2nd ed.) Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books.
(For review) Chapter 6, “Needs Assessment” (pp. 107–142)
Chapter 7, “Crafting Goals and Objectives” (pp. 144–164)
Document: Tutty, L. M., & Rothery, M. A. (2010). Needs assessments. In B. Thyer (Ed.), The handbook of social work research methods (2nd ed.,pp. 149–162). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. (PDF)
Copyright 2010 by Sage Publications, Inc.
Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications, Inc. via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Optional Resources

Stewart, K. E., Phillips, M. M., Walker, J. F., Harvey, S. A., & Porter, A. (2011). Social services utilization and need among a community sample of persons living with HIV in the rural south. AIDS Care, 23(3), 340–347.
Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Walter, H. J., Gouze, K., Cicchetti, C., Arend, R., Mehta, T., Schmidt, J., & Skvarla, M. (2011). A pilot demonstration of comprehensive mental health services in inner-city public schools. Journal of School Health, 81(4), 185–193.
Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
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