Children’s Rehabilitation Service received the needs assessment survey results from the University of Alabama at Birmingham on March 9. The in-depth survey is conducted every five years by agencies that receive money through the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant.
“The purpose of the survey is to identify both the strengths and the weaknesses of our services,” said Lolita McLean, CRS Maternal and Child Health coordinator. “With a finite level of funding, the survey clues us into where we need to best allocate our monies and resources.”
The top three issues identified by this cycle’s needs assessment survey were lack of transition services to adulthood, lack of access to a “medical home,” and lack of access to general health services.
“At first glance, these indicators appear discouraging because these top needs are already well-addressed,” McLean said. “If you dig a little deeper into the data, though, what this really indicates is that we need to better assist our families in navigating the system and providing necessary support to guide them through the process.”
A lot of positive changes have resulted from data received from previous needs assessment surveys, McLean said. Results of previous surveys identified the need for a parent consultant in each CRS office, the addition of a transition social worker specialist, and the addition of a statewide youth consultant.
With the final report to be presented in August to the federal government, the next step is to merge all data with the Department of Public Health’s and complete the block grant application process.
“Resources are scarce, but we really put our energy on where we can best make a difference with respect to funding,” said McLean. “The needs assessment not only helps us better determine where we currently stand, but also which direction we need to go to move our program forward.”