Designing a community program in Human Services begins by completing a needs assessment. The purpose of the needs assessment is to see what programs or services are already being offered in the community and where there are possible gaps. This week you will submit a workplace or community needs assessment.
If you are currently not working in a Human Services organization, begin by assessing what services are in your community. You can plan a program based on the information you collect and what you feel your community needs. If you are working in a Human Services organization and want to create a program for it, begin with an assessment of the organization's existing programs and plan your program from there.
Your needs assessment should be formatted in an outline and include the following information:
Description of the community, including statistical information and demographics about the community (for examples, population, age, race, gender, income, education, housing, poverty, etc.)
In your description, include the possible needs of this population.
Community needs that are currently being met and how (specific agencies or programs)
To discuss this, consider the various populations that are found within a community that potentially could seek Human Services assistance (for example, families, elderly, youth, mentally ill, substance abusers, pregnant teens, victims of domestic violence, unemployed). Then, consider the services available to these populations.
Community needs that were identified as not being met or populations not served
To discuss this, consider populations that may be underrepresented or that are not being served as well as they could be. For example, perhaps a program exists but clients can't easily get to it.
Choose and identify one of the unmet needs to research in order to create a program for your project. (You will use this research to help you complete next week's course project assignment, program design.)