Needs assessments are a vital part of an organization's planning, service provision, and evaluation process. Social and human service agencies contemplating starting a new program, expanding an existing one, or reviewing existing services ought to conduct a needs assessment. This book is designed to help social workers assess macro problems within their communities and agencies. It provides the essentials needed to understand various ways to conceptualize need and offers practical advice about selecting an appropriate data collection design that incorporates considerations of purpose, stakeholders, and expertise. Two “applied” chapters illustrate how needs assessments can be employed within an agency to identify areas for new staff training, and across a state to obtain an accurate picture of the extent of substance abuse prevention and treatment needs.