Divergent Views of Clients and Professionals: A Comparison of Responses to a Needs Assessment Instrument

Rosalyn Benjamin Darling, Mark A. Hager, Jami M. Stockdale, D. Alex Heckert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This article presents the findings from a study comparing the responses of human service providers and service users to a community needs assessment survey. The analysis of data from this study provided strong support for the hypothesis that providers would see their clients as more needy than the clients would see themselves. The analysis also suggested support for a second hypothesis that professionals and clients would emphasize different needs. In particular, although both groups of respondents emphasized information/access and material support issues, the groups differed markedly in their perceptions of need for formal support services and services to address social participation concerns. In general, the professionals were more concerned than their clients about personal and family problems, whereas the clients were more concerned with universal human needs, such as access to public libraries and recreational facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-63
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Social Service Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 17 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Client-centered practice
  • Clients
  • Formal support
  • Needs assessment
  • Partnership
  • Professionals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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