Needs Assessment Planning: Starting Where You Are

David Royse, Karen Badger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Abstract: Needs assessments are a useful part of the program development cycle. However, while step-by-step models are available to guide assessments, they may not be detailed enough for the pragmatic questions that arise. The planning process should be viewed as dynamic and flexible, able to be tailored to the agency’s specific organisational and environmental characteristics. This paper presents a practical discussion for social workers charged with planning and implementing a needs assessment. Practitioners are empowered to consider several concerns or issues simultaneously, to build upon their organisational knowledge, and start the process where it intuitively makes sense. Major issues discussed are: planning the needs assessment, evaluating contextual factors, and design considerations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-374
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Social Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Australian Association of Social Workers.


  • Needs Assessment
  • Program Planning
  • Social Work Needs Assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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