Identify two sources that would provide information about the need in your target community.

Needs Assessment Responses

In this discussion, you will post a needs assessment plan for a fictional program involving students attending school who have mental health needs. You may select any age group from preschool through graduate school.You may base your needs assessment on a program that you know but disguise the identity of the program and the individuals involved to respect their privacy.

  1. Identify a mental healthproblemthat may be affecting students today. Students may be at any level from pre-school to graduate school. (1-2 sentences).
  2. Locate a research article or an official government-issued informational report that describes the type of mental health problemthat you selected. Use the article to provide a brief description of the problem and the need and/or suggestions for addressing the problem. Include any appropriate and relevant descriptors that may be useful in understanding the impact of the problem on the students you selected, such as approximate age, gender, disability, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, appearance, newness to the school or community, language, or any other relevant feature. You may use an actual school or group of individuals with disguised identities or a fictional target group for this question. (3-4 sentences). Cite the article with appropriate APA formatting.
  3. Select a relevant need for the problem you identified from the list of needs herethat has been drawn from the Wisconsin School Mental Health Needs Assessment form used by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Keep in mind that the description of the need should point to a strategy or recommendation for mitigating the problem.

Please do not choose a need selected by another scholar in the class so we can have a wide-ranging discussion.

  1. Using the article and your clinical judgment, expand the definition of the mental health problem you selected to include the target group and the impact of the need.

EXAMPLE: For example, let’s presume that you have become aware that many 11 and 12 year old children are required to supervise younger siblings from the time they arrive home from school until bedtime and get them ready for school in the morning while their parents work, but that many of these young babysitters are unaware of what to do if there is an emergency.

You might write something like this:

“Many 10- and 11-year old male and female students in Walden Middle School have responsibilities to care for younger siblings from the time they arrive home from school until bedtime while their parents work, but are not able to handle emergencies or hazardous situations that may arise. [identified problem].

Most children of this age are ill-equipped to deal with problems that they or their younger siblings might experience, including illness or accidents, fires, lack of food, dangers from the neighborhood, or even the logistics of getting their siblings to school on time. These children have high levels of anxiety which disrupts sleep and makes it difficult for them to pay attention and participate actively in class. [This is your identified need, supported by information reported in scholarly literature and community reports].

  1. Identify two sources that would provide information about the need in your target community. These sources may include fictional individuals or reliable documents such as attendance records, injury reports, documented comments of children in the school, or others.

Selected individuals should include people who have knowledge of the need and the community from whom you could gather credible information. Select people who may have different perspectives on the need. Use your imagination and clinical experience to select individuals as needed. Enter the sources into the template below. The individuals selected as information sources, must be identified by their role (student, administrator, parent, teacher, counselor, social worker, daycare provider, pediatric nurse, etc.).

If you wish, you may use one peer-reviewed document or official report describing the need.

  1. Choose an appropriate method for gathering information from each source (place in the 3rd column of the table). Recall the data gathering methods you learned in SOCW 6301, or use the information in the data collection handout (contact me if you need another copy). Describe the advantages and disadvantages of this data collection strategy with the source you have selected. Consider the ability of the source to provide factual answers rather than guessing, embellishing the truth, or neglecting to report negative conditions to make the situation look better.
  • If you choose interviews as a data collection method, you may use that method with only one information source.
  • If you choose to interview children for your data collection strategy, Krähenbühl (2011) has suggestions for obtaining valid information that apply to children in legal proceedings but are also applicable to any type of interviews with children or adults. Tips on conducting interviews that obtain useful responses are listed here: https://t7-live-cyfar.nyc3.cdn.digitaloceanspaces.com/cyfar.org/files//EDC,%202004.pdf
  • Remember that peer-review of articles, reports from established sources such as public agencies, and author credentials help to establish that the information in the document is valid.


Subject: Social Science

Social workers are often among the first to identify client problems that have not been addressed by current services in their communities. Rather than bemoaning the lack of resources, many social workers promote the addition of new services or modification of current services to address the unmet needs they have discovered.

In the past few weeks, you have identified resources and developed plans for providing and evaluating services with logic models and evaluation procedures. But how are new or modified services identified? The first step in developing new services is to complete a thorough needs assessment to learn where gaps in services exist and how they impact individuals and communities.

The Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, SAMHSA (2019)offers further information on the value and function of needs assessments:

[A] needs assessment can help identify current conditions and desired services or outcomes. It can identify the strengths of a program and the challenges faced in meeting the service needs of those served. A needs assessment should be objective and include input from consumers, program staff, and other key community stakeholders.

Key questions to include in a needs assessment

  • Frequency – How often does [the need] happen?
  • Duration – How long do the effects [of the unmet need] last?
  • Scope – How many people does [the need] affect?
  • Severity – How seriously are people affected [by the unmet need]?
  • Perceptions – How do people feel about the [the need]?
  • Understanding – Do we know enough about the need to identify a solution? (Stombaugh, 2012)

The needs assessment should also evaluate the capacity of the group or organization for addressing the need by asking these questions of the organization and outside stakeholders:

  • Capacity and credibility – does our organization have enough knowledge, community support, and resources to recommend or implement a solution?
  • Sustainability –is our organization capable of implementing a solution or ensuring that it continues over time? (Stombaugh, 2012)

This week, you will learn the process of generating a needs assessment plan. You will use the needs assessment to promote a program that meets an unmet student mental health need of your choice.

We have to be careful to express the needs in terms of the people who would receive the services, not in terms of the program we intend to create. For example, if you are identifying a need of families in the community, we cannot say “the program will address …” Our descriptions have to written from the perspective of the families who have the need.

How does a social worker begin to do a needs assessment?

  1. Your first task is to identify a problem. Important! A problem is not the same as a need! A problem is a condition that causes social, physical, emotional, philosophical, or moral difficulties for someone or something. A need suggests a service, item, or social structure that that will reduce the impact of the problem. For example, food insecurity is a serious problem for many people who have lost jobs due to the pandemic. Increased donations to food shelves is a need identified by many communities because of increased requests at food shelves from people who struggle to feed themselves and their families.
  2. Once you have identified the problem, your second task is to identify the need that is causing or resulting from the problem. What does the community need to mitigate the problem? When the need is addressed, will there be a significant impact on the recipients’ quality of life or ability to perform a task or function, or is the need merely something desirable (a “want”)? A properly conducted needs assessment distinguishes between services that address a need by reducing the effect of a problem and increasing self-empowerment and quality of life; and those that are desirable but wants.

A free summer program for children living in poverty whose parents work and cannot afford adult supervision may be essential for the children’s well-being, making it a need. Needs suggest solutions to the larger problem. In this case, the problem is lack of necessary adult supervision for children while parents work which may result in harm or injury for the children; the need may be a recreation program or more daycare options for parents.

Children who have a responsible adult at home during the day but would like recreation program in the summer may not need such a program, although those children and adults may find it desirable. In that situation, the recreation program is a ”want” rather than a need.

  1. After identifying the problem and the need,your third task is to identify reliable sources of information from research, experts, and stakeholders about the scope and impact of the problem and possible solutions to the problem (that is, the need) .

Sources may include the people may benefit when the need is mitigated, stakeholders who deal with problems caused by the unmet need such as medical personnel, child or adult protection social workers, teachers, parents, law enforcement, neighbors, and others. In addition to these individuals, sources of information may include reliable documents such as census data, birth and death records, hospital or clinic medical records, and agency documents.You must think like an investigative journalist when conducting a needs assessment and seek information from a wide variety of sources to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the problem, its causes (if known), and impacts. From the information you obtain, you can identify the needs that are the most important and feasible to address.

  1. Your fourth task is to plan a data collection strategyto get reliable and valid information from your identified sources about the scope, frequency, severity, or details of the needyou are interested in exploring.

Tutty and Rothery (2010, in B. Thyer, Handbook of Social Work Research Methods) offer an excellent outline of methods for gathering reliable information for your needs assessment. They discuss quantitative methods such as surveys and previously gathered statistics (for example, the number of calls a local crisis program receives each day about bullying, self-injurious behaviors, anxiety, or potential abuse of children; school attendance records, and screening tools), and qualitative methods for obtaining information through interviews, focus groups, and open-ended survey questions.

When considering your data collection strategy, you may also consider this handout on data collection tools which we have used in previous weeks.

  1. Fifth, decide on a method for presenting information on the need with appropriate visual data and graphics (if possible) with clear, concise, and accurate descriptions, keeping the readers’ interests and abilities in mind. Your presentation of the needs assessment data will be essential for educating your community and colleagues about the scope of the need and your approach for addressing it, and for obtaining support for your program. We will not be completing this step in this discussion.


To prepare for this Discussion, review the examples of needs assessments presented in the readings and the form entitled Wisconsin School Mental Health Needs Assessment which was developed by the Department of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for the Wisconsin Department of Education. Select a need from this form that has not yet been selected by another student for this discussion.

This form was selected for this discussion so you can see how an actual social work needs assessment may be conducted. Notice that it is presented in a form completed by the assessor, not a paper.

This format is a typical manner of presenting information in our field and explains why you are asked to write in similar formats in this class.

Consider the elements of a needs assessment plan listed in the quotes from Stombaugh (2012) and presented again here:

  • Frequency – How often does [the need] happen?
  • Duration – How long do the effects last?
  • Scope – How many people does [the need] affect?
  • Severity – How seriously are people affected?
  • Perceptions – How do people feel about the [the need]?
  • Capacity and credibility of the organization – does our organization have enough knowledge, community support, and resources to recommend or implement a solution?
  • Sustainability of the program through our organization or allied organizations –is our organization [or allied group(s)] capable of implementing the solution or ensuring that it continues over time? (Stombaugh, 2012)


  1. Name the problem you will be addressing (1-2 sentences)
  2. Provide a description of the type of individuals most affected by the problem (1-2 sentences)
  3. List the need you have chosen from the list adapted from the Wisconsin School Mental Health Needs Assessment form. (Please – only one person per need). Please include the number of the need from the list in your response. (1 sentence)
  4. Find a supporting research article or state department of education report on the Internet that describes more details about the need or explains why it is important to address or reduce this need. List the article according to APA format here.
  5. From information in the selected article or report, expand on the definition of the need, including a description of the problem and the target group affected by the problem, the need that is caused by the problem, and suggest how a condition will improve or problems will be reduced when the need is met. (2-3 sentences). You may fill in the sentence below for your responseor write something similar:

[Because of [the problem you stated in Question 1], [the target group] needs [the issue selected from the needs list]. The impact of the [need] affects [the target group] [how much/how often/in these ways/resulting in …whatever is relevant]. [Add more information about the need from the research article here]. Meeting this [need] will [solve or mitigate] the problem [state] for [the target group] by ____.

  1. Identify two sources from whom you could gather credible information about the need and enter them in the template below (column 1) and explain what role the source has that provides their unique perspective as teacher, principal, school nurse, school security officer, social worker-therapist in the community, parent, and so on. Place this role information in column 2 of the template.
  2. Select an appropriate data collection method for each source and enter them into the template in the third column. Each data collection method must address one or more of the key elements listed by Stombaugh (2012): frequency, duration, scope, severity, perceptions, capacity of the organization to address the need, and capacity of the organization to sustain a response to the need. See list at the top of this post for more details on these components.

Copy and paste this template into your discussion.

Sources of information on need, method used, and information obtained
SourceWhat unique role does the source have in relation to the target group?1. What data collection method may elicit important and accurate information about the need from the source?

2. What key component of the need (Stombaugh, 2012) would you explore with this method? (Select one from the list above).

3. List one advantage and potential disadvantage of using this data collection method with your selected source, considering characteristics of your source and the type of information sought.



16 hours ago

give me like a minute to screenshot the template because it’s not coping right  –  attached

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