Guide to Conducting Community Needs Assessments

Guide to Conducting Community Needs Assessments

This guide is intended to assist communities applying for funding through the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to prevent child maltreatment. The guide is organized by steps communities can take to complete a needs assessment. While we present specific strategies to conduct a needs assessment, we recognize that there are multiple ways to conduct needs assessments. Communities are encouraged to use and adapt components of this guide to meet their needs.

Prevention programs assume there is a need in a community to prevent something. Community needs assessments are a tool that can be used to identify that need and develop a plan to meet the need. Oftentimes community members may have ideas and feel pressure to implement those ideas quickly. However, sustainable and impactful programs require planning to build a solid foundation. That is not to say that an assessment will slow momentum. Rather, a needs assessment can be used to foster conversation and collaboration necessary for coalition building and planning.

The guide covers different methods for collecting information for a needs assessment. The methods suggested in the guide are designed for easy implementation that requires no research training. To collect data quickly and thoroughly, communities should: 1) complete interviews with key stakeholders and 2) complete a survey with contacts at the agencies you’ve identified.

Guide to Conducting Community Needs Assessment

Stakeholder Interview Guide

Community Survey Template

Presentation on Guide (8 minutes)