Key Components of the Community Needs Assessment
Community Needs Assessment aim at gathering accurate information that represents the needs of the community (Royse and Badger, 2015). These assessments are conducted before carrying out any action and determining the existing situation. The key components of the community need assessment that supported the need for a new program are system and social change. System change entails changes that influence the community components such as social norms (CDC, 2013). Environmental (social) change on the other hand includes a change in behavior or attitudes over policies that boost supportive and favorable attitudes (Brown, 2015). For instance, there is a need for policies and programs that influence the behaviors and practices of high-risk youths. Some of the common high-risk behaviors among the youths include substance abuse, smoking, sexual activity, and violence which influence character development among the youths (Kann et al., 2018). Therefore, there is a need for social change and systems that support character development among high-risk youths to prevent self-harm.
The program that Riverbend City will be addressing is the First Chance Program for youth. The program will help build character in at-risk youth and help them with changing their behavior in school and within the community. The program will bring social change through its implementation, providing youth with the necessary knowledge, values, and reasoning to take responsibility for their health behaviors. The program will change the social norms in the community by initiating new thinking patterns, attitudes, and behaviors that will reduce risky sexual behavior. The program will change youths’ behavior by promoting non-smoking, abstinence from drugs and alcohol, safe sex practices among students in high schools. The program will address the need for character development among the youths through building knowledge about violence prevention, nutrition promotion, drug abuse prevention, and sexual responsibility. This program is designed to teach youths how they can take control over their lives through positive decision-making.
Goals and Activities for the Program
The main goal of the First Chance Program for youth is to reduce the high-risk behaviors of youth. This program is for youths, ages 10 to 18 years old to ensure that they are making the right decision when it comes to taking care of themselves. It focuses on skills training by using techniques for thinking about one’s self or others that help with proper decision making like positive peer modeling and teaching how to make healthy decisions.
The program aims at educating the youth on the risks of high-risk behaviors that may cause problems in their lives currently or in the future. The program will ensure that youth remains in schools, learn discipline, and have positive peer models. The program will also keep youths off drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol to prevent drug abuse. It will also be used in building character strengths and teaching skills for greater decision-making ability. Youths will be encouraged to participate in programs that focus on academic achievement, career exploration, and work readiness training. The program will be implemented through training sessions and interactive workshops that will build knowledge and create awareness among the youth.
Appropriate Program Evaluation Type
Process-Based evaluation describes the events in a program that lead to intended and unintended results (Sylvia and Sylvia, 2012). Process-based evaluations can be quantitative or qualitative, but they all follow the same basic approach. Process-Based Evaluation would be more appropriate for this type of program since focuses on the implementation process and tries to examine how successfully the program followed the approach laid out in a logical model (Mertens and Wilson, 2018). Process evaluations differ from outcome evaluations because process evaluation is concerned with describing how something happened rather than just whether it happened (Chyung, 2015). Process evaluation allows the evaluator to understand the context in which a program takes place. This allows evaluators to determine if contextual factors play a significant role in the success of a program and suggest ways for improving a program. Process evaluations also allow for the determination of whether intended effects occurred from implementing a specific process (Linfield and Posavac, 2018).
Considerably, it’s imperative that ethical issues are examined during the formulation of the government program. Ethical considerations during the development and implementation of the First Chance Program for Youth included informed consent, no harm, voluntary participation, and respect for people. Individuals involved in the program need to be made aware of the aim of the program and any additional information required (Harris, 2017).
Voluntary participation means that an individual is willing to be part of the program. Participants are allowed to withdraw their engagement at any time without negatively influencing their involvement in future programs. For instance, it can be difficult and challenging to convince high-risk youths to engage in a program. It’s also challenging when participants decide not to continue with a program. It’s imperative that the program or evaluation process does not lead to any harm to the participants. The program has to maintain respect for people. Respect for people’s rights is at the heart of all ethical decision-making. The program has to take care of the people who are affected by it and have their best interests in mind.
Integrating Accessible and Culturally Sensitive Approaches
Cultural adaptation approaches will be effective in addressing the issues of inclusion and diversity in the program (López, Hofer, Bumgarner, and Taylor, 2017). The program will integrate cultural competence activities into the program to benefit youths from diverse backgrounds. Social integration of the program will play an essential role in creating attachments between the program and the diverse population. Addressing diversity and inclusion within the program will involve understanding each client’s ethnicity, sexual preference, religion, and background. Understanding that these factors will provide a unique perspective for each individual and help to avoid any additional obstacles in the implementation of the program.
Brown, V. (2015). Using the social-ecological model to inform community needs assessments. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 107(1), 45‒51.
CDC, (2013). Community Needs Assessment. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Chyung, S. Y. (2015). Foundational concepts for conducting program evaluations. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 27(4), 77‒96.
Harris, M. J. (2017). Evaluating public and community health programs (2nd ed.). Wiley.
Kann, L., McManus, T., Harris, W. A., Shanklin, S. L., Flint, K. H., Queen, B., … & Ethier, K. A. (2018). Youth risk behavior surveillance—the United States, 2017. MMWR Surveillance Summaries, 67(8), 1.
Linfield, K. J., & Posavac, E. J. (2018). Program evaluation: Methods and case studies. Routledge.
López, M., Hofer, K., Bumgarner, E., & Taylor, D. (2017). Developing culturally responsive approaches to serving diverse populations: A resource guide for community-based organizations. National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families.
Mertens, D. M., & Wilson, A. T. (2018). Program evaluation theory and practice: A comprehensive guide. The Guilford Press.
Royse, D., & Badger, K. (2015). Needs assessment planning: Starting where you are. Australian Social Work, 68(3), 364‒374.
Sylvia, R.D. & Sylvia, K.M. (2012). Program planning and evaluation for the public manager. 4th edition. Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc