PROBLEM ANALYSIS AND NEEDS ASSESSMENT  I. Defining the Programs Answer the following questions to determine the extent to which agency services are organized into discrete programs: 1. Does the program provide the clients a number of clearly-defined and distinct services (as opposed to providing undifferentiated casework services for all clients)? 2. If your agency does not have separate programs, can you identify agency staff and resources that are allocated to each of your programs? If the answer to both questions is “no,” you must select another agency for use in this course. II. Problem Analysis Answer the following questions to determine the foundation of the program: 1. Thinking of one particular program or service, can you identify the problem(s) this program is intended to address, first in general terms and then in specific terms? If so, state them. 2. Can you define the target population(s) this program is intended to serve, first in general terms and then in specific terms? If so, define them. 3. Can you identify geographic boundaries for the population served in your program? If so, state them. 4. If necessary, could you provide a reasonably accurate estimate (based on empirical or reliable and valid documentation) of the number of people within these boundaries who fit the description given in questions number 1 and 2 for the problem(s) and target population(s) in both general and specific terms? If so, identify the populations and list the estimates. 5. Can you identify data sources for the statistics you used in the above question? If so, state them. 6. Can you define the commonly agreed-upon understanding among the staff who work in the program about the primary or most common causes of this problem and about the cause-and-effect relationship that exists? If so, list them. Do you think you could get at least a 75% agreement upon the issue of causality from the staff? 19 III. Needs Assessment Accuracy and skill in matching needs to services come from solid, thorough work on problem analysis. You will need to examine identified needs from four perspectives: (a.) normative needs (defined by “experts” in the field) (b.) perceived needs (defined by those actually experiencing the needs) (c.) expressed needs (defined by those who seek out the services) (d.) relative needs (needs and resources in one geographic area as compared with needs and resources in another Using the five methodologies described in Chapter 4 (existing studies, resource inventories, service statistics, social surveys, and public forums), analyze the extent to which your program has taken these perspectives into account by answering the following questions: 1. Given the problem you identified in Question 1 of the Problem Analysis section, is there agreement among the direct service staff about the major, predominant categories of needs of clients who come to you with the identified problem(s)? If so, list the categories of need(s). 2. Are there any standards that are used to establish normative need (that point or level defined by experts below which one is defined as being “in need” with this particular problem? If so, identify that standard. 3. Can you define what consumers of your services perceive their needs to be? If so, list the major categories of need they identify. 4. Of those people who seek services from this program, do you know what percentage are actually served? If so, state that percentage. 5. Do you know how the volume of services provided in the community compares with the volume of these same services provided in other communities in terms of percentage of needy population served? If so, cite some comparative data showing whether the agency is serving a larger or smaller percentage than other communities are. 6. In relation to the need(s) identified in Questions 1 and 3, do you know approximately how many people within the geographical boundaries of the agency have these needs? If so, identify the numbers for each need identified. 7. Do you know in what census tracts or zip codes the highest levels of need(s) are located? If so, list them APPLY FOR THIS CASE