Professional Development Conference/Fall 2009/Needs Assessment

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Needs Assessment

E 4. The Heart of the Matter: Conducting a Needs Assessment

Level: Intermediate

Clients contact settlement services because they need help getting the information they need to help themselves. Clients have a reason for contacting your service and your job is to find that reason – which is often not as easy as it sounds. An effective needs assessment involves many things including understanding the nature and extent of a client’s situation.

The assessment process consists of active listening and effective questioning to determine the needs of the client, clarifying the need, identifying appropriate resources, selecting the appropriate delivery mode(s), making referrals to organizations capable of meeting those needs, and providing enough information about each organization to help clients make an informed choice. This session will address and cover the following topics:

  • How to develop trust and rapport with your clients
  • How to ask the right questions in the right way
  • Professional standards for conducting a needs assessment
  • Skills necessary to conduct an effective needs assessment

After attending this session, participants will have knowledge and understanding of how to effectively conduct a needs assessment. This interactive session will use case examples and address the essential elements of a needs assessment and enhance the skills of settlement workers.

Faed Hendry is a Certified Information & Referral Specialist who is Manager of Training and Outreach with Findhelp Information Services in Toronto. He has worked in various capacities at Findhelp since 1989. Faed regularly conducts training and credentialing programs related to information and referral throughout Ontario and North America. He is the Chairperson of the AIRS Standards Committee, a professional membership association with over 1,000 organizations and conducts regular site visits to 211 agencies throughout North America. In his spare time, he volunteers as a youth soccer coach with the East York Soccer Club.