Needs Assessment

Needs Assessment – Assignment 2

The needs assessment assignment addresses the following competencies and practice behaviors (PB):
• Competency 1: PB 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
• Competency 2: PB 1, 2, 3
• Competency 3: PB 1, 2
• Competency 4: PB 1, 2, 3
• Competency 5: PB 1, 2, 3
• Competency 6: PB 1, 2
• Competency 7: PB 1, 2, 3
• Competency 8: PB 3, 4
• Competency 9: PB 1, 2, 3, 4

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You must explore, design, and implement the initial stages of a needs assessment. In planning a successful and effective needs assessment, you are involved in the following activities:

Use lectures, handouts, and your own research to develop knowledge and understanding of a needs assessment.

Social Need/Topic
Identify an area or issue related to one of your interests in the profession, which represents an existing social need. I will review and provide guidance on your ideas related to the topic area or issue you wish to address. Identifying an area or issue in the Houston/Galveston area that constitutes an existing social need is encouraged.

Based on your selected social topic, develop and design a needs assessment, which covers these four general areas (Grinnell, 2005):

• Demographics
What is the demographic profile of the community, or the people experiencing the need? For example, what is the average age, socioeconomic level, family constellation, and so on (think broadly)?

• History
Have needs changed over time? What conditions have changed in the community in the past 5 years? What types of solutions have worked in the past?

• Demand
Are existing program services meeting the needs of the people being served? What are the gaps in existing services? What are the most pressing needs within the community? Are there specific groups asking for services but not receiving any?

• Strengths
What are the positives in the community (Examples: neighborhood associations, volunteer groups, active religious groups, engaged civic leaders, etc.)? What are the signs of resiliency in the community?


You are to submit a paper (5 – 10 pages, excluding title and reference pages) detailing your Needs Assessment and the initial data gathered. The title page should include the title of the paper, student’s name, course name and number, instructor’s name, and date submitted. Use APA formatting and discuss the following:

• Purpose and Goals of the Needs Assessment
• The Area, Issue or Population of Focus (Use this section to describe demographics, history, demand, and strengths described above)
• Variables to be studied if you were completing the FULL community needs assessment. Think of this as “essential questions” that must be asked in order to understand the needs of the community relating to your topic.
• Methods for conducting the needs assessment and the theoretical framework that guides your work
• Data – Provide at least 3 examples of real data answering at least 3 of your identified questions. You must provide data and cite the sources – being certain to answer your questions to the best of your ability.
• Include 3 peer-reviewed journal references and/or credible policy resources related to the research undertaken.

Suggested Sources
You are not limited to these sources. Alternative sources are welcomed.
• Peer Reviewed Journal Articles about similar issues/content/populations, etc.
• The US Census & The American Community Survey
• The Houston Area Survey – Dr. Stephen Klineberg
• The Texas State Data Center – Dr. Steve Murdock
• The Texas Vital Stats Bureau
• Houston Galveston Area Council – HGAC
• The United Way
• Houston Police Department
• Local Mental Health Authorities/Associations (NAMI, MHMRA-Harris or Galveston Co., etc.)
• Children’s Protective Services
• Office of the State Comptroller
• Any state agency
• Annual reports from Non-profit organizations or state agencies

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