macro social work community assemnet
Community Needs Assessment
SOWK 423 Social Work Practice: Communities & Organizations
Project Assignment Summary
Putting it all Together
For your final project submit all of the following in the order listed:
• Face sheet with your name, the name of the community, the course number and
name, the instructors name and date
The following should make up the sections of your complete paper: (These are the main
headings of your paper. There should be sub-headings also – ALL should be in bold
and separated out in paragraphs).
• Getting to Know Your Community (including a short introduction to what
community you are assessing and why you chose this community).
• Community Demographic Data and critical summary of the demographic
• Community Health and Mental Health Resources Summary
• Final Community Needs Assessment analysis (Identify community
problems/solutions) and intervention strategy. This should be the bulk of your
• Minimum pages 6, maximum 12 excluding the face and reference page.
• Reference page (must match all sources used in the paper).
Total Points: 150
Getting to Know Your Community
Please introduce your community briefly and why you chose it. (should be one SHORT
1. During the daytime, drive through your community and visit local restaurants, coffee
houses or hangouts and have a drink (e.g. soda, coffee, tea, etc…).
2. Casually talk to multiple people in these venues (restaurant, on the street, in shops, in the
park etc). about:
• Their perception of the community and what they like and dislike about the
• Talk to enough people to get participants who are older and younger, different
race/ethnicity, professional, students, homemakers, etc. Dress appropriately (e.g.
As participants to identify a maximum of three primary strengths of the community
and three primary issues of concern within the community.
3. Discuss your impressions:
• The overall social issues people identified for the community.
• Your impressions of the community and what it was like for you trying to approach
people and begin to get to know the community.
• Your own concerns for social issues and how they are similar or different from those
identified by community members.
• Identify some community leaders you could connect with, in order to find out their
perception of community social issues that exist. Discuss your rationale for selecting
these community leaders?
Getting to know the Community culture
Identify and discuss in narrative the following aspects of the Community:
What kind of city is it?
What kind of people live there?
Who are the decision makers and those with political and economic power?
Who are the most vulnerable community members?
What is the city’s economic base?
What are the predominant industries that provide employment for members?
Who are considered the minority members of the community?
What are the issues for women? For the aged? For children? For immigrants?
Identify any opposing forces in the community? How do these forces impact community
members? Discuss the conflicts that exist between these opposing forces and leadership in the
Examine and discuss whether there any crises in the community at the present? How are these
crises’ being addressed?
Discuss the advantages available to community members that exist.
Assessing and Analyzing Community Demographics (statistical information should be
I. Community Characteristics
A. Ethnic/Racial Configuration
1. What are the major population characteristics (for example, what percentage
is white, African American, Vietnamese, American Indian or Hispanic)?
2. What are the principle ethnic and religious groups?
3. What is the age composition?
B. Economic Factors
1. What are the principle economic characteristics of the community?
2. How are most of the people employed?
3. What are the major industries?
4. Have there been recent changes in the economic life of the community
(for example, having industries moving in or out of the area, or having major
expansions or cutbacks)?
1. What is the unemployment rate?
2. How does this rate compare with state and national rates?
3. Have there been recent changes in this unemployment rate?
If so, to what can these changes be attributed?
4. Are there sections of the community where the rate is appreciably higher than
D. Income Levels
1. What is the median income?
2. Are there large numbers of poor people in the community?
3. How does the community’s median income compare to state and national average?
E. Education Levels
1. What is the median education level?
2. How does the community’s median education compare to state and national average?
3. How well are the local schools rated in the state? Graduation rates?
E. Housing Patterns
1. What percentage of residential property is high, moderate or low-cost?
2. What is the condition of the community’s housing (for instance, mostly new, wellkept
and maintained, or deteriorating)?
3. How available is moderate and low-cost housing?
II. Community Life
A. Communication and Interaction
1. How many newspapers are there?
2. If there is more than one, are they independently owned?
3. Is community news carried on a regular basis in a metropolitan newspaper?
4. How does one learn about local government activities, hearings, meetings
or cultural activities?
B. Social Services
1. What private social service agencies exist in the community?
2. Are there specific organized groups aimed at improving social services
within the community?
3. What types of fund-raising exist in the community and why?
C. Civic and Service Organizations
1. What are the principle community-wide civic and service organizations?
2. Are there fraternal groups?
3. Are there labor organizations?
4. Are there business organizations?
5. Are there cultural groups?
6. Do such groups work together on community-wide problems?
7. Are there coalitions among these groups on common interests?
8. Which groups are more likely to be aligned and on what kinds of issues?
9. Are there neighborhood groups?
10. If so, around what are they organized: cultural, social, political or other interests?
1. What recreation opportunities exist?
2. Parks and Recreation Programs?
III. Available Social Services
A. Interagency Cooperation
1. What cooperative programs, if any, exist between public welfare agencies
and the juvenile court, probation officers, schools, day-care centers, nursing
homes, public health services, mental health services, and other agencies?
2. What cooperation, if any, exists between public and private social service
3. If, so, what form of cooperation exists?
B. Non-Institutional Care
1. What agency or agencies administers services for children who are abandoned or
who have been abandoned?
2. Are foster homes used?
3. Are there adequate day care centers?
4. Is there an adoption service?
C. Other Public Assistance Programs
1. What other assistance programs exist (for example, temporary assistance
special and corrective needs, exceptional needs such as bus fares and help
during emergencies, employment services, legal services and others)?
2. How is information about such special assistance made available to the people?
Demograhic Critical Analysis:
Based on the above data provide a critical analysis and summary of your findings. Discuss:
• How is diversity represented in the community and what impact does diversity have
for members of the community (make sure you explore impact from the aspect of
both members of diverse groups and members who might represent those who have
financial and political power in the community. Are diverse members represented in
the power structure that exists in the community? What impact does this have on the
well-being of all community members?
• How does income level and education impact the community?
• Is this an aging community?
• How does resident age impact community issues, program needs, etc.
• What are the demographic trends for this community?
• Your initial impression. NOTE: What does all this data mean for the community in
terms of growth, infrastructure, supportive services, transportation, financial strength
and opportunities and overall well-being of the community members? You can use
outside sources to support your impressions, ideas and analysis of your community.
Brevity will not serve you well in this section, as your ability to critically analyze and
demonstrate such is being evaluated in this section.
Health and Mental Health Resources
What are the resources that exist in your community and how aware where you of them
prior to doing this research?
How would you know where to refer clients for special help?
How aware are you of the support systems in your community?
• Assess a comprehensive community mental health center and provide brief information
about the services provided to the community. If you community does not have one, use
the one that your community would use. In doing so, find out the answers to questions
such as these:
• Where would you send a family who needed help?
• What facilities are available to treat alcohol and drug abuse?
• What kinds of crisis interventions are available?
• What are some common crises are likely to occur in your community?
• Are health and medical services available at the center?
• Is individual counseling available? For whom? At what fee? Long term? Short term?
• Where would you refer a couple for marital or couples counseling?
• What crisis hot lines available?
• What provisions are there for emergency situations?
• What do people have to do to qualify for help at the center?
• Is there overlapping or duplication of services?
• As community organizers, what role(s) would you have in regard to helping others access
Community Needs Assessment: Problems/Plan
Overview: This is the culminating section for this project. It is time to carefully assess all of the
information you have gained, and critically evaluate and summarize the current strengths and
needs within your community. Remember, as a community organizer your role is to also
understand the perspective of the community members themselves, versus strictly your own
Summarize the key characteristics of the community, the impact of these characteristics on
effective community functioning. Based on this analysis identify 2 problem/need areas that exist
within this specific community and carefully propose strategies for addressing that need. Be sure
the need and plan are specific, with specific attainable and measureable goals. Support your ideas
with material from text and readings. This and all sections should be typed using in-text
citations to readings, using APA style.
1. Based on your analysis of all the data you have collected provide a summary of key
characteristics of your community, and the impact of these characteristics on community
well being. What are the community resources (the criteria for this is highlighted in the
2. Clearly define 2 problem/need areas, citing evidence collected as part of your assessment.
3. Obtain all important facts related to the problem/need: consider causes, effects, and
history, including current community efforts, assets/strengths, and potential community
partners to address this problem/need.
4. Explore and detail possible action plans for addressing these issues and strategies for
attaining these objectives and reference the text or other materials in your strategies.
Be sure to address any faith-based possibilities in you discussion of solutions.
5. Determine the practicality and realistic feasibility of the proposed solutions from the
standpoint of finances, facts, time, and outcomes desired, resources, policies, etc.
6. Determine the best Macro social work approach to use in implementing this plan and explain
your rationale for choosing this approach (your choice must come directly from the macro social work cite your references,
and your rationale needs to support the use of this method).
7. Determine how you would evaluate the sustainability of your intervention.
8. Conclude your analysis with a final statement.
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