Community Needs Assessment

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Introduction: What is a community? “A community is a group of people living in the same area or having some specific characteristics in common” (Kinney,2003). Examples of the common characteristics are having the same interest, religion, race, etc. “There are different types of communities that are classified by a purpose. The different types are interest, action, place, practice, and circumstance. Interest is a community of people who share ideas and thought on the same passion. Another type called action is a community of people trying to bring about change. Third type is where people are brought together by geographic boundaries. Fourth type, known as the practice, is a group of people in the same profession or take on the same activities.…show more content…
Based on child welfare information studies, a community needs assessment identifies the strengths and resources available in the community to meet the needs of children, youth, and families. The assessment focuses on the capabilities of the community, including its citizens, agencies, and organizations. It provides a framework for developing and identifying services and solutions and building communities that support and nurture children and families. But based on Heavens work, there are two questions that needs to be answered. First question is, why assess needs and resources? Stated answer from her work is, assessing needs and resources will help gain better understanding of the community. Each community has its own needs and assets, as well as its own culture and social structure. Not only does it uncover the needs and resources, but also the underlying culture and social structure that will help better understand how to address the community’s needs and utilize its resources. It will also help encourage community members to consider the community’s assets and how to use them, as well as the community’s needs and how to address them. The consideration of the assets can be a step of assuring that they use the available resources wisely and to solve problems and improve their community. Second question was, why develop a plan for the assessment? Heaven’s response, “it allows community members to get involved with the process from the beginning. It will encourage both trust and support of the people of the assessment and other actions of the working process. Full community participation of the assessment plan can promote leadership from within the community and give voices to those who are having difficulties standing up for themselves”. An assessment is a great opportunity to use community-based participatory research, or research based on the people who are highly affected by the issue at hand. Here
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