SOCW6311 – Discussion Response to 2 Student – Planning a Needs Assessment (wk8)

Due 04/19/2019

Respond to at least two colleagues by doing all of the following:

  • Indicate strengths of their needs assessment plan that will enable the needs assessments to yield support for the program that they want to develop.
  • Offer suggestions to improve the needs assessment plan in areas such as:
    • Defining the extent and scope of the need
    • Obtaining important information about the target population
    • Identifying issues that might affect the target population’s ability to access the program or services

Response to Eric Walters

  • A currently unmet need:

An unmet need in Orange County (OC), CA, is to address the homeless population problem (Walker, Park & Robinson 2019). Through data gathering, OC had 2,585 homeless in the 2017 censes, and is expected to have over 3000 in the 2019 count (Walker, Park & Robinson, 2019). As this is a current need that is expanding, the planned intervention might begin with enhanced awareness of the community benefits for the general population and small business owners when the homeless population is cared for and included in the general population (Walker, Park & Robinson, 2010). To plan an outcome that can address their current circumstances and underlying causes that have placed them outside of: normal housing, employment, food sources, pharmacy assistance, and mental and health care, source assessments, they might include an action plan to remedy the concerns of the homeless population (Dudley, 2016).

  • Describe the unmet need and how current information supports your position that a needs assessment is warranted:

The OC homeless population in Southern California need homeless problem solutions, that might be developed as new in certain cases, or revised in others (Walker, Park & Robinson, 2019). One potential program for consideration might be securing a homeless site to accommodate the homeless clients not served at sits like the 45 bed Laguna Beach, or the Christian-oriented Orange County Rescue Mission sit in Santa Ana (Gouldings, 2018). This need for additional sits, or improve facilities exist because the current ones are overwhelmed, and the county homeless have nowhere to go other than riverbeds, and open sits, which upset the regular residents, causing them to push the authorities to arrest and move them on (Gouldings, 2018). The arrest and move them on is often illegal if the homeless person is disabled, according to OC judge Carter, and costly if the answer is to arrest (Gouldings, 2018).

  • Identify the sources of information that you might use when conducting a needs assessment, including potential informants:

Sources of information would come from resource conformations that frame the currently unmet needs, from sources like: personal interviews, data collection, county court records, and interviews at current homeless shelters, and community stakeholders (Walker, Park & Robinson, 2019). First, although it is a shifting population, the homeless population may be assessed at OC beaches, parks, and riverbeds, by observation, which is open spaces of congregation (Gouldings, 2018). Second, data collection at county court records and censes statistic are open for public scrutiny (Walker, Park & Robinson, 2019). Third, currently operating homeless shelters can shed some light on the factors of homelessness needs from their records (Walker, Park, and Robinson, 2018). Finally, stake-holders, like nearby businesses, and county programs can provide insights from their observations (Walker, Park & Robinson, 2018).

  • Explain who among these potential informants would be valuable resources and why.

All involved entities are valuable informants, as they are all personally affected by the homeless conditions in their neighborhoods (Goulding, 2018). First, the homeless individuals can put a human face to the problem (Goulding, 2018). Second, data resources explain the population numbers, and county, and community financial costs of providing service verses financial associated costs of not providing homeless services (Goulding, 2018). Third, the current homeless shelters, and new homeless shelter sites can provide information on program functions and community stake-holders negative and positive views of having a shelter in their neighborhoods (Goulding, 2018).

  • Identify steps for obtaining credible, unbiased information.

Credible unbiased information is available through raw data from censes reports (Goulding, 2018). Semi-unbiased information might include police reports on homeless responses and county court records Goulding, 2018). However, other unbiased reports for obtaining credible, unbiased information might be challenging since most stakeholders find homeless populations as either a caring opportunity, duty to help, or as a stain on their neighborhood that they might want to just see go away (Goulding, 2018). The steps to communicate a caring approach, might be providing information about the positive advantages of helping the homeless populations in terms of community betterment and better economic community opportunity costs through creating homeless shelters and rehabilitation opportunities (Goulding, 2018). This community empowerment opportunity might come from news outlets, and community meetings, that narrate the advantage of creating a needed homeless shelter, over disadvantages of ignoring or criminalizing the community’s homeless residence (Goulding, 2018). .


Walker, T., Park, J., & Robinson, A. (2019, February 28). Irvine and 4 other south Orange County cities sued over treatment of homeless people and lack of shelters : The lawsuit puts pressure on south county to address growing homelessness. Retrieved from

Tutty, L.M.,& Rothery, M. A. (2010). Needs assessments. In B. thyer (Ed), The Handbook of social work Methods (2nd ed.,pp.149-162). Thousand oaks

Dudley, J. R. (2014). Social work evaluation: Enhancing what we do.(2ND ed, pp. 226–236) Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books

Goulding, S. C. (2018, December 19). Tustin City Council approves different site for homeless shelter, after outcry over proposed location near elementary school. Retrieved from

Response to Kynesha

Post a needs assessment plan for a potential program of your choice that meets a currently unmet need.

A program called ‘Mental health Outreach for Mothers’ (MOMS) is geared towards mothers that are overburdened, underserved and exhibit signs of depression (MOMS, n.d.). The issue or need is that many communities do not offer this program due to a lack of resources, or funding. This program or a similar program would be beneficial to the mental health of mothers.

Describe the unmet need and how current information supports your position that a needs assessment is warranted.

Depression is a feeling that everyone gets sometimes. This can interfere with daily activities and can last for weeks or months. Postpartum depression happens after giving birth. Postpartum is more intense and can last longer (CDC, 2017). A number of factors can add on to postpartum depression such as, a lack of adequate housing, finances and a support system.

Identify the sources of information that you might use when conducting a needs assessment, including potential informants.

Acquiring statistics from the local health department, social services, mental health department and local parenting agencies would help gain beneficial information. According to Tutty and Rothery (2010), “service providers and management, community members, certain politicians, the funding source, business/trade associations and the actual research workers” will be able to provide statistics and information regarding the population specified.

Explain who among these potential informants would be valuable resources and why.

The mental health department would be valuable because they do assessments of patients. In these assessments, patients should notate if they are parents, their age, background and employment status. The department of social services or in some place’s child protective services, will have accurate statistics about mother’s, and their history. Reaching out the research workers that have done similar research or worked with this specific population may help me gain insight on potential stakeholders and other needs that I may have missed.

Identify steps for obtaining credible, unbiased information.

Using a limited amount of resources can increase the chances of obtaining biased information. It is recommended to use “triangulating” or “collecting data from three (or more) sources, each having different perspectives” (Tutty & Rothery, 2010). Utilizing multiple sources can be time-consuming, however, the results will be more credible, and unbiased. The information obtained will help to create a program geared to that specific community and population.


Depression Among Women | Depression | Reproductive Health | CDC. (2017). Retrieved April 17, 2019, from…

Mental health Outreach for MotherS (MOMS) Partnership® | Psychiatry | Yale School of Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2019, from

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)