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Program Planning and Program Evaluation

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Program planning and program evaluation are two very important aspects when it comes to creating and maintain human services organizations. Program planning is a structured process in which an organization develops an approach to address and facilitate change in some or all of the issues that they have identified. The needs and problems that are identified will be resolved or addressed in an ongoing process that occurs over a certain time period. Through this process, the organization also goes through program development by assessing what has happened with the program, what will happen and what could have happened based on their actions. Program evaluation is done through the process of program planning and this is why the two go hand in hand with one another. When program planning is done, an agency must evaluate what needs to be done by evaluating their program. This includes getting an understanding of the problem or problems, measuring and analyzing the severity of the problems and then following up with another study to determine outcomes. This assessment will determine whether or not the problems have been solved, reduced or still exist. Ultimately, both of these processes aim to gain or keep money coming into the organization. If a funding source does not see change or goals being accomplished according to the program planning and evaluation process, then they will no longer provide their funding. They want to know what benefits are being gained from the services the program provides.

In the Continental Senior Center scenario, the organization uses program planning and evaluation to run its current program. Continental serves as a local community center for elderly citizens that can go there to join in on activities, get help and information with taxes, health, housing and other concerns. To become an established organization, the agency had to plan its program and determine what exactly they were going to stand for. Part of this is in their mission statement but they also needed to further elaborate on what it is they were going to do. They had a targeted population, the seniors of Westminster. They then decided on what it is they would do for this population. The organization had to analyze what it is that this target population needed and would create their program based on that. This included all of the programs and services that they offered.

For this program to exist, it must have a source of funding. A recent opportunity has arisen in which the agency can apply for funding. To do this, they must do an evaluation of its program to submit to the funding source. This funding source, The Wesley Foundation, looks to support community organization groups that work in low-income neighborhoods that are accountable to neighborhood residents, and through which people are empowered to have a major voice in shaping decisions that affect their lives. The Westminster qualifies under these requirements but



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