In todays rapidly changing world, new social and human service problems emerge constantly, and in order to make good use of resources that are often limited, social service agencies must ensure that their services are truly needed. Needs assessments provide a baseline against which later results can be compared, and may also assist policy-makers in recognizing new trends or problems on the horizon. With so much hinging on their outcome, these assessments must be conducted both accurately and efficiently, and this pocket guide will give practitioners the ability to do so. Written by a group of social work scholars with a collective wealth of experience in conducting needs assessments at all levels, this practical guide will walk readers step by step through the process of selecting the right design to confidently conducting the assessment, meticulously analyzing data, and finally writing a cogent report. In addition, the authors explore the various approaches that can be used to assess the needs of a client or population group and the differences between large- and small-scale assessments. Later chapters in the book include discussions of emerging technologies in the field as well as abundant social work case examples. Social work graduate students, as well as social workers in the field who need to brush up on their skills, will find this book an invaluable aid.
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